The Observatory's latest Comment pieces
Data-dependent technology has become fully integrated in society and is transforming people’s lives. Companies have never known so much about consumers, collecting data from online searches, purchase histories from credit cards, inferred data from social media interactions - the sources are numerous. Discussion of these changes usually leads to a debate on privacy.
In this Comment piece for The Observatory, Caroline Normand, Director of Policy at Which?, looks at how Which? wanted to take a step back from this narrow focus and ask a broader question: how do consumers feel about data collection and its use by organisations in general?
From the rate of automation to the future of the office, the future world of work will look and feel very different to today – exactly how, we simply cannot know. In this Comment piece for the Observatory, Vinous Ali, the Head of Policy – Skills, Innovation and Digital Strategy, at techUK reflects on the challenges ahead for all educators and employers.
In the final comment piece for the Obserrvatory's Data Fortnight, Sue Lewis, Chair of the Financial Service Consumer Panel, presents the findings of their recent research on how consumers consent to sharing financial data with a third party. She also provides recommendations for government and businesses to avoid consumer harm.
In this comment piece for the Observatory's Data Fortnight, Sonali Parekh, the Federation of Small Businesses’ Policy Director, discusses the impact of GDPR on their members and the steps the Information Commissioner might continue to take to support small businesses through this change in regulation.
In this comment piece as part of the Observatory's Data Fortnight, Jeremy Lilley of techUK discusses the impact of GDPR on Blockchain technologies. He argues that they have a similar approach to data and are both an opportunity for the citizen to gain greater control over their data.
The requirements for businesses under GDPR have been set out for two years. So why the last-minute panic? In this comment piece, Corsham Institute’s Director of Policy and Advocacy, Maeve Walsh, looks at the preparations that businesses should by now have completed to comply with GDPR and the incentives for getting it right – for all of us.
GDPR could lead to new products and services designed around digital rights. There are exciting opportunities for organisations that think about data ethics and digital rights now. In this blog, Sarah Gold talks about what Projects by IF has learnt from exploring some of these opportunities.
Anatomy Health and Health XL spoke to experts across data, IT, security and life sciences to understand the potential impact of GDPR on innovation on providers in the health and care sector. Ahead of the publication of their findings, Shai Blackwell, Managing Director of Anatomy Health, discusses why GDPR is an opportunity for the healthcare industry to put patient rights front and centre.
With the imminent introduction of the GDPR, organisations using personal data will need to be much clearer and demonstrate better accountability over how and why they use data, and how they protect it. This is particularly important in healthcare, which is underpinned by the relationship of trust and confidentiality between clinicians and patients. At the same time, it is increasingly recognised that better linking and access to patient data could lead to enormous benefits for patients and for the health service. In this blog, Natalie Banner explores some of the core relevant principles of GDPR and what kinds of questions need to be answered to improve transparency over the use of health data.
In this comment piece, as part of the Observatory’s Data Fortnight, Simon Burall from Involve discusses the balance between the public benefits and potential risks of data sharing. He suggests three questions that public service providers should ask before sharing data and a framework to mitigate those risks.
In this article, Corsham Institute (Ci’s) CEO Rachel Neaman reports on the findings from the Your Data, Your Rights project. This project engaged the Corsham community in the run-up to GDPR to find out what they think about their data, its use and their new rights under the new legislation.
In this Comment piece, as part of the Observatory's Data Fortnight, Alan Mitchell, the Chairman of Mydex, argues that despite scandals like Cambridge Analytica, the biggest problem - and opportunity - in today’s personal data landscape doesn’t lie in things that are happening but shouldn’t. It lies in things that aren’t happening but should: like individuals being empowered with their own data.
AI is coming to healthcare and medical research. How do these technologies challenge long-standing principles of medical ethics? What new challenges will healthcare practitioners, medical researchers, patients, and regulators need to face?
In the third of our series of comment pieces for techUK’s AI week, Rachel Neaman, Chief Executive Officer of Corsham Institute (Ci), reflects on the current interest in and potential impact of Artificial Intelligence, and why education, skills and lifelong learning will be critical for the future.
Is artificial intelligence only useful to big corporates, or can ‘ordinary’ businesses exploit this most disruptive of technologies? Andrew Burgess explores the key considerations medium-sized businesses need to think about if they are to maximise value from AI.
Recent events have led to much debate about the ethical impact of the use of data-driven technology in democratic societies. Sue Daley of techUK argues that the tech sector must not shy away from the complex ethical debate around data usage, otherwise we put at risk the innovation we need to support a thriving society and economy across the UK.
To coincide with the BBC’s annual School Report event (15 March), Mark Frankel, Social Media Editor for BBC News, writes exclusively for the Observatory for a Connected Society on their new initiative to help school children understand the nature and impact of fake news and misinformation.
Safer Internet Day 2018, the annual global movement to promote the safe use of technology to children and young people, takes place on Tuesday 6 February. In the run up to this year’s event, Corsham Institute (Ci) has been working with schools in the local community in Wiltshire and in this piece, Ci’s CEO Rachel Neaman reflects on some of the findings from this work and what it tells us about the need for new approaches to digital resilience.
There are a plethora of digital democracy initiatives exploding onto the scene in Britain, all aiming to harness technology to bring the population and the policymaking process closer together. Areeq Chowdhury, Chief Executive of WebRoots Democracy, explains why they will all fail unless we solve the political, technological, and psychological challenges of online voting.
Data is no longer just the outcome of scientific research or administrative functions of government but is now created as a bi-product of every person’s interactions with the internet, infrastructures, institutions, news media, supermarkets, banks, the built environment and so on. Dr Hannah Knox makes the case for the crucial role that anthropology can play in wading through this data saturated landscape.
What impact has digital technology had on traditional means of telling stories and making documentaries? As we enter the traditional time of year for families and friends to sit down at the same time and watch the same thing live on TV, award-winning wildlife filmmaker James Brickell reflects on the opportunities – and challenges – for telling stories in a digital age.
Digital skills are essential for all sectors of the economy, both to transform traditional businesses and address the productivity gap, as well as to harness the innovative potential of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the Internet of Things. Yet 52% of tech companies report that they have hard-to-fill vacancies and only 17% of the existing tech workforce are female. In this article, Tech Partnership’s Craig Hurring sets out seven ways these degree apprenticeships can transform the tech sector.
Last week the Prime Minister pointed the finger at Russia for meddling in UK elections. In this comment piece for the Observatory, Corsham Institute’s Dr Charles Kriel takes a look at the rise of fake news, its global impact and why it matters to all of us.
The impact of digital exclusion is significant. Nine percent of the UK population are still offline and 11.5m adults have no basic digital skills. But we may be approaching a watershed moment where the approaches we have taken to date will not be those that will work in the future. This article looks at potential approaches to digital inclusion and identifies five potential trends that are likely to become more prominent in the years ahead.
There is a wide body of material about the skills crisis facing the UK, especially for girls. Research from the Social Market Foundation & EDF (2017) shows that 640,000 STEM jobs will need to be filled in the next 6 years. Many of these jobs haven’t even been invented yet. Founders4Schools (F4S) works with educators, young people, employers and partners to help understand and close this gap.
The Right Hon. Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State at DCMS, talks about the UK Government's digital priorities.
Today’s connected society presents new and exciting opportunities to share and use information that supports research and innovation. Recent scientific advances, such as the discovery of the Higgs boson and gravitational waves, have been the result of idea and data collaborations between thousands of scientists, facilitated by digital technologies.
The digital revolution is a global one – it has no national boundaries, it is irreversible and it is unstoppable. To fully reap the rewards of this transformation, we must become a nation of digital optimists and arm all our people with the digital skills to embrace and benefit from this revolution.
This article outlines the role of the first Chief Digital Officer for London and the work with the Mayor of London to develop city-wide digital transformation.
Despite the fact it is perhaps one of the lesser known social inequalities in today’s society, digital exclusion is one of the biggest we are facing.