The DCMS published its formal outlook on Data Portability in November and Ctrl Shift, who coordinated the report started publicising it this week, which makes it timely for this op ed. To us, It is the most progressive personal data policy paper in UK publication. (That may also make it the most progressive personal data policy paper in the world).
A coupl'a interesting tidbits. It calls out "Data Mobility" nicely as the safe and efficient flow of personal data - so no privacy hangups and a healthy productivity and economics focus. It also includes dollars analysis, in which it says benefits to the tune of a £27.8 billion UK GDP increase might be found were we to embrace a little more data sharing. Timely, as we're looking to shave off a good amount shortly by throwing ourselves into the channel. It also neat summarised data portability for us. It's just "the ability for individuals to access their personal data and potentially for it to be used in multiple applications."
The challenges to data mobility today are that as an economy we (1) can't figure out standard data infrastructure and tech, (2) don't have deep data understanding as consumers, (3) need strong, adaptive, and fast-moving regulation, and that's hard, (4) demand (and find lacking, to date) great services and applications, and (5) are facing a status quo with some real power.
A quote in the report sums up the way through that whole quagmire. "Data Portability isn’t the issue, it’s what can be done with the data at the other end that matters." Of the 'above things we strugglin' to figure out', it feels to me like the lack of services and applications to really take advantage of the shift is our first best challenge. We're working on it. You should be too.
Ultimately, we are proud to have, with this short (211 page) shout, a clarion call for how "personal data mobility can be a vital stimulus for the next major stage of growth in the digital economy." But "activity in the market is far from coherent and investment is patchy." We are working on it.
But for now the door is wide open. We can lead the world into the technology of the future. Will we?
Yours in HAT,