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UK House of Commons report responsible use of data

2 December 2014

On the 28 November 2014 the Science & Technology Committee of the House of Commons published a report entitled Responsible Use of Data in which they reported on the issues of big data and social media, the values to be drawn from analytics and the concerns for Government and citizens.

The report addresses the rise in social media and the increase in the use of big data as a tool for the benefits of better governance and commercial opportunities whilst recognising the need to protect the citizen from loss of privacy.

The report drew a number of conclusions and recommendations as follows:

  • the UK is not producing the technically proficient people required to support modern businesses particularly in the area of data engineering and data science
  • there should be an obligation on learned societies, professional institutions and trade bodies to systematically engage in promoting data science skills for the structured programme of education and engagement
  • for citizens to completely embrace the use of big data within government, government services must be delivered so as to empower citizens and engender trust
  • for citizens to safely use the internet and engage fully with government and business there needs to be effective education and awareness training, as well as transparent and plain language privacy notices between government and business and citizens
  • regulation of the use of personal data needs to strike an appropriate balance between the protection of the rights of individuals as regards personal data and human rights as well as the right for business and government to use individuals’ personal data for legitimate purposes
  • the UK Government needs to persuade citizens that the systematic monitoring of personal data is not just for national security purposes but also to enhance the provision of government services to citizens.

This article was written by Robert Bond.

For more information contact Robert on +44 (0)20 7427 6660 or robert.bond@crsblaw.com