Behind the scenes

News and views

Hello, and welcome to our thirteenth (lucky for you) Data Policy Digest, bringing you all the latest data and AI policy developments. Of which there continue to be many.

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Hello, and welcome to our twelfth Data Policy Digest, bringing you all the latest data and AI policy developments. Rest assured, this is one DPD that won’t use AI to swear at you. (Though may have you swearing at AI.)

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We were pleased to support the research and writing of the Wales’ TUC report entitled “A snapshot of workers in Wales’ understanding and experience of AI”.

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Hello, and welcome to our eleventh Data Policy Digest, bringing you all the latest data and AI policy developments.

And Happy New Year! (If it’s not too late to wish you that.) After the data and AI policy carnival of chaos that was 2023, we have a much quieter year to look forward to.

Kidding, obviously. Just the odd controversial bit of data-related legislation, a government response to the AI White Paper, more AI Summits, continued AI development at breakneck speed, the unfolding of the Post Office Horizon scandal, the small matter of a general election being called at some point and goodness knows what else to keep us busy. The Digest will be with you all the way.

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What’s the problem? Data from others, from the world and from ourselves can be used by companies and governments in ways that affect our lives. So why don’t we have a say in how this is done?

What’s the opportunity? There is a growing movement for more democratic control of technology and space for experimentation, with cases of public interest governance of data and AI arising across the world.

Why G20 Brasil? Together, the Group of 20 (G20) members represent 85% of global GDP, over 75% of global trade, and about two-thirds of the world’s population, playing “a significant role in shaping and strengthening the architecture and global governance across all major international economic issues.” Moreover, Brasil has a long and strong history of social movements mobilisation and collective redress to push for rights.

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Hello, and welcome to our tenth Data Policy Digest, bringing you all the latest data and AI policy developments. I don’t know about you, but after a long (if fun and interesting) year, I feel like I’m stumbling towards the finishing line - though with a steeplechase-sized hurdle, in the form of the Lords debating DPDIB today, now firmly in view.

This will be the last Digest of 2023 - thanks for reading this year, and I hope it’s been useful. My new year’s resolutions are to make it shorter and more frequent. If you want to give a friend the gift of data this Christmas, why not encourage them to subscribe?

Have a wonderful festive season and see you in 2024! (Unless you decide you would like to follow me live-tweeting the DPDIB debate…)

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With the UK’s Data Protection and Digital Information Bill being back in the Commons, and our concerns regarding how it misses an opportunity to build public trust in technology and give people and communities a powerful say in the matter, we have been looking to learn from other countries on ways to address these issues.

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On Wednesday 29 November, the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill came back to the House of Commons for report stage and Third Reading. (You can also watch the video, or catch up on live tweeting from the Open Rights Group.) Report stage is where MPs vote on the amendments made during committee stage (back in May) – and on the 150+ pages of (mainly government) amendments that appeared a few days before the debate on the 29th. A vote on Third Reading sends the Bill to the Lords. Here’s what happened, seen through the various votes (or divisions) on the Bill.

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This is a brief follow-up bulletin from the People’s Panel on AI, sharing the full summary findings report by panel facilitators Hopkins Van Mil, as well updates on next steps for the People’s Panel. You can find earlier bulletins from the People’s Panel here and in case you missed them the AI Summit week rush, the Panel’s recommendations are in Bulletin 5.

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So these are my last set (of very irregular) weeknotes. I’m heading off to be Head Campaigns at UNICEF UK. I’ll be particularly focusing over the next year on highlighting the issues around child poverty in the UK around the coming election and with a potential new government. It’s an exciting opportunity and one that gets me working on a very tangible social justice issue again (I came from Shelter) which I’m looking forward to.

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The Post Office scandal has reached the mainstream, thanks to ITV’s dramatisation, Mr Bates vs The Post Office, broadcast earlier this month. The political response to the harms done to sub-postmasters due to problems with the Post Office’s Horizon system has rightly focused on correcting miscarriages of justice and providing compensation to the people affected. But there are other lessons to learn from this scandal: about how technology can go wrong and the implications for how it’s developed and embedded within wider processes; and about the rights we need to bring such errors to light, correct decisions made about us, and hold organisations accountable.

But even as the government congratulates itself on finally acting to compensate victims and quash convictions, its own Data Protection and Digital Information Bill is laying the groundwork for both making similar scandals more likely in the future, and making it even harder for campaigners to achieve justice.

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Weeknotes are a combination of updates and personal reflection written on a routine basis

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Do you collect, use or share data?

We can help you build trust with your customers, clients or citizens

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Do you want data to be used in your community’s interests?

We can help you organise to ensure that data benefits your community

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