Upcoming and previous events

Presentations, panels and conferences

During a session of the 2022 Internet Governance Forum, Tim spoke to the launch of a new paper on ‘Data Governance and the Datasphere’, providing a bibliometric-driven literature review of academic and policy work on data governance.

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Tim participated in the the London workshop organised by CIFAR on Examining Cooperative Governance of Data & Technology.

The workshop, linked to the Data Communities for Inclusion three year programme of work exploring the creation and governance of an ”open-access data infrastructure platform” intended to “help women agricultural workers in India gain fair access to a competitive marketplace”.

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Jeni spoke in a closing dialogue with Martin Tisné, Vice President at Luminate Strategic Initiatives, about The data delusion: protecting individual data isn’t enough when the harm is collective.

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Tim and Jonathan attended a launch event for the Data Justice Lab report, “Civic Participation in the Datafied Society - Towards Democratic Auditing?” and the associated website Datafied Society

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Jeni spoke on this panel alongside Laura Gilbert, Director of Data Science at No.10 Downing Street; Dr. Hatim Abdulhussein from Health Education England; and Lisa Allen from the Open Data Institute.

In the wake of the pandemic, the government aims to make significant cost savings by reducing the civil service headcount. Technology, it says, can help shoulder the burden of this reduced workforce.

This has put automation in the spotlight. RPA was touted as a way to cut through the admin backlog that piled up during lockdowns, and many public sector bodies put it to good use. But can it really replace a significant proportion of the civil service’s workforce?

This panel will assess the state of play for automation, including RPA and its combination with AI and other process technologies, in the UK public sector, and ask how the public sector can get the most out of the technology.

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On 30th September 2022, CONNECTED BY DATA organised a civil society workshop to explore the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill.

As we wait for the date for the second reading of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, many civil society organisations have different concerns and interests, and can see different opportunities and risks.

Here at CONNECTED BY DATA, for example, we think the Bill presents a real opportunity to influence how data is democratically and participatively governed, to ensure it works for us all, as part of the UK’s post-GDPR future. However, we also fear that, in its present form, the Bill reduces individual citizens’ control and influence, removes transparency and key safeguards, limits opportunities for engagement and ignores evidence about the collective and equality impacts of data processing and AI.

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Jeni spoke on this panel, organised by the Institute for Government with support from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, at the Labour Party Conference 2022.

Technology is profoundly reconfiguring our society, creating new opportunities but also new risks and inequalities. Many politicians and policymakers have a limited understanding of technology and its effects, yet government has no choice but to grapple with these issues. How do we take technology out of the box labelled ‘digital policy’ and give it the attention it needs at the heart of policy and public life? How should we reform government to take advantage of technology? What kind of state do we need in a digital age?

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Jeni gave the Significance Lecture during the Royal Statistical Society 2022 Conference that took place in Aberdeen in September.

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Tim participated in a roundtable discussion exploring learning from public participation around the ‘General Practice Data for Planning and Research (GPDPR)’ programme.

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Tim participated in a workshop organised by the Data Trusts Initiative, and led by Simon Burral of Involve, exploring approaches to embed participatory governance into the pilot data trusts supported by DTI.

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Jonathan attended the online launch of the Digital Futures Commission report on the reality of education data.

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Tim was one of the respondent panelists for the first Open Future salon on ‘Introducing the Public Data Commons: Business-to-Government data sharing in the public interest’.

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Tim chaired a discussion on Open Data and AI as part of a series of roundtables organised to update the State of Open Data book, with Jeni appearing as one of the three panelists.

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Tim was an online participant in the hybrid Data Power 2022 Conference.

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Jeni spoke on the panel, discussing GPAI’s work on data stewardship to address the climate crisis and making the case for more community-level involvement.

Digital technology is increasingly recognised for its potential to bolster international efforts to address climate change: a complex global challenge that calls for a data-driven systems approach. To this end, climate models, using earth observation data and running on supercomputers, have been central to understanding and finding solutions climate change.

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Jeni spoke at the workshop, describing some of the ways in which organisations are bringing the public into the processes of data governance.

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Jeni spoke on the RightsCon panel “Putting the ‘good’ in health data as a public good?”.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the collection of health data – underscoring the importance of good governance to uphold the highest standards of data protection and respect human rights. In June 2021, the World Health Organization called for a new global consensus on “health data as a global public good,” with a focus on data sharing for improved health outcomes. But what does health data as a public good mean in real-world contexts?

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RightsCon 2022

Jeni Tennison -

Both Jeni and Tim attended RightsCon, which is the world’s leading summit on human rights in the digital age.

It was a full-on event, with a week’s worth of panels and discussions and often four or five sessions to choose from at any one time. We barely scratched the surface, but here are our reflections from the sessions we did manage to attend, in particular focusing on how they relate to our work at CONNECTED BY DATA.

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Jeni spoke on the panel: Measures for fostering trust and addressing unjustified barriers to data openness.

Given the benefits of digitalisation and data openness and the legitimate concerns and risks, it is fundamental to build effective and trustworthy data governance arrangements (e.g. regulations, policies and practices). Without effective approaches, stakeholders can face significant barriers when trying to access, share and re-use data within and across organisations, sectors and jurisdictions.

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I spoke on the panel: The future of the UK’s digital economy, alongside Bojana Bellamy, John Whittingdale MP, Mahlet Zimata and Cyrus Mewawalla, at the New Statesman and Tech Monitor’s Digital Responsibility Symposium 2022.

The government’s ambition to make post-Brexit Britain a global tech hub could result in the rollback of data protection laws, with the focus turning towards encouraging and enabling technological innovation. What impact will this have on business technology, and those who lead it? Are short-term returns for investors being prioritised over long-term trust in technology? Is GDPR legislation likely to be an early casualty of the government’s strategy – and if so, what can businesses expect in its place?

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I was invited to present to the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation team about the work we’re doing at CONNECTED BY DATA.

CDEI work on the governance of data-driven technology, including an ongoing strand on public attitudes to data and AI.

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Jeni attended the Bennett Institute for Public Policy Annual Conference 2022, which will explore the most pressing public policy issues facing governments and populations amidst plans for economic recovery, resilience, and prosperity.

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Jeni spoke on this panel with leading experts on learning from history to manage technological change as part of the Cambridge Festival 2022.

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On 31st March 2022, the Ada Lovelace Institute held an invite-only roundtable about public attitudes to data, focused on three questions:

  1. What do we currently know about UK public attitudes towards the regulation of data?
  2. What are the gaps in our understanding of those attitudes?
  3. How can we work together to address those gaps?

The event will be written up properly by the Ada Lovelace Institute. I was only in one of the breakout rooms so didn’t hear everything that was said, but do want to reflect on the conversation from a Connected by data perspective. It was held under Chatham House rules, so I won’t be able to attribute the points made in the conversation.

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As one of their affiliated researchers, I was asked by the Bennett Institute for Public Policy to give a brown bag lunch to discuss my thoughts on collective data governance.

After the presentation, the discussion focused on three areas:

  • How to make participatory approaches effective
  • How to get to the future we want to see from where we are now
  • What other sectors or historical shifts to learn from

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