June 30, 2017
The current framework for governing automation and the management and use of data cannot keep pace with technological advances, according to a new report by the Royal Society and the British Academy. The report calls for the establishment of a new, independent body to steward an overall framework that can safeguard public confidence and ensure that the potential benefits of data use such as improved public services, better healthcare and business innovation are fully realised. The two National Academies convened leading figures from the Sciences, Humanities and Social Sciences to undertake a detailed review of the current governance landscape for data usage and management. Data Management and Use: Governance in the 21st Century found that data usage, data collection and management are increasingly intertwined, and new ways of using data make it difficult to define which data is sensitive. It found that, while the current governance architecture provides a lot of what is needed to deal with these challenges, there are clear gaps and too many silos, such that tensions between how individual and collective benefits and risks are negotiated are not always identified and addressed in a transparent and inclusive way.