Insights Government launches new National Data Strategy Forum to help UK become “the world’s number one data destination”


A National Data Strategy Forum to help the country seize the opportunities of data has been announced by the Government. Minister for Media and Data, John Whittingdale, and the TechUK director, Sue Daley, will chair the forum which will bring together key voices from industry, privacy groups and academia to help implement the UK’s National Data Strategy.

The Government describes the National Data Strategy as an “ambitious, pro-growth strategy that is driving the UK forward in building a world-leading data economy that works for everyone, while ensuring public trust in data use”.

The announcement of a National Data Strategy Forum was made the same day the Government published its response to a consultation on the strategy (see item above). The strategy sets out five priority “missions” to be taken to capitalise on the opportunities data offers:

  • unlocking the value of data across the economy;
  • securing a pro-growth and trusted data regime;
  • transforming the Government’s use of data to drive efficiency and improve public services;
  • ensuring the security and resilience of the infrastructure on which data relies; and
  • championing the international flow of data.

Essentially, under the Strategy, the Government is taking the next steps to look at how the country can leverage existing UK strengths to boost use of data in business, government and civil society. This includes a £2.6 million data project to help in the detection of online harms and the new Data Sharing Code of Practice, which has been laid before Parliament (see item below).

Respondents to the National Data Strategy consultation confirmed the need for action to make sure the UK realises the benefits from better data use and overwhelmingly agreed the National Data Strategy provides an appropriate framework. Many respondents recognised a need to embrace data as an opportunity to drive productivity and innovation across the economy rather than as a threat to be managed, given risks such as cyber-attacks or data breaches.

A new Central Digital and Data Office has also now been created to drive forward digital, data and technology transformation across Government. Further, the ICO has launched a data sharing information hub with guidance and practical tools to help businesses share data fairly, lawfully and transparently, while protecting people’s personal information. To read the Government’s press release in full, click here.