Reform of data protection regulations are not often a headline grabber. In announcing the re-launch of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill (DPDIB) the Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan stated that “ GDPR: most people don’t know what the letters stand for”.
Though evidence suggests that is not accurate, there is a challenge for those, like us, advocating for individual and collective rights around data and AI. We need to bring to bear what is the significance of this collection of letters and the dense technical regulation around it.
This is where our strategy of convening a broad set of individuals and organisations comes in: To bring a data-lens to look at areas and issues that people may more naturally gravitate to like workers rights or consumer rights and the justice system.
In recent months we’ve hosted calls, open documents and forums to exchange insight, ask questions and develop ideas on how to campaign around the DPDI.
With everyone stretched for time and money, it’s been heartening to see an environment of openness and collaboration around shared and overlapping goals and interests.
To what extent such a network can (and should) begin to mobilise power and voice in the same way as the tech lobby, for example, is yet to be seen.
But just as data issues affect us collectively, the imperative is for a cooperative effort to understand, challenge and be propositional about the direction of data-driven technologies that will affect us all.