UK National Data Strategy: The dawn of a new era?

The strategy aims at a data regime that is not too burdensome. Have UK core fundamental rights and values changed, asks Camilla Ravazzolo of the UK Market Research Society.


In September 2020 the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) published the UK National Data Strategy: a large-scale document that aims to reflect on the opportunities and challenges of this hyper-digital world, ensure weighing the priorities and potential trade-offs of data in a deliberate and evidence-based way, and, above all, to drive growth in the UK economy and to power its recovery from the coronavirus ­pandemic.

Having read the entire document, one cannot but recognize the significant effort put in to identifying and addressing all levels of data relations. It is a commendable publication, welcomed indeed for being – as suggested – another step in the process. For instance, a follow up Digital Strategy is expected later this year. Currently open to consultation until 2 December, the Strategy leaves ample space for discussion about the subsequent concrete actions and measures to be identified and adopted. Because of its nature and the scale, it is impossible to comment here on every detail. I will be looking at some major eyebrow-raising points, recognising that the Strategy should be regarded as more of a political declaration of intent rather than an action plan.

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