Towards trusted data sharing: guidance and case studies

Policy context

Data sharing is widely recognised by government and other stakeholders as a key enabler for unlocking the value of data:

  • The government’s Digital Strategy emphasised the importance of supporting the data economy through ‘unlocking the power of data’. [8] It recommended the creation of a strong data infrastructure – assets, technology, processes and organisations that allow data to be opened up and shared - and recognised the potential for businesses to make better use of the data that they hold.
  • The World Economic Forum Global Risks report identified the importance of having a predictable legal framework in order to facilitate the exchange of data between countries and stakeholders, to realise the full economic potential of digitisation. [9]
  • More recently, the independent review of artificial intelligence (AI) highlighted the need to increase the ease of access to data in a wider range of sectors, to continue developing and applying AI. [10]
  • The AI sector deal acknowledged the need for the right data infrastructure by tackling the practical and cultural barriers to sharing both publicly and privately held data, and to explore data-sharing frameworks that might protect sensitive data, ease access to data, and ensure accountability. [11]
  • HM Treasury recognised the need for data to flow freely between economic actors to realise its true potential value and identified ‘enabling safe, legal data-sharing’ as a key challenge. [12]
  • The free flow of data across international boundaries is also a key component in creating a thriving data-driven economy, as has been recognised by the European Commission and by business. [13, 14]