Data Governance

Data collection activities increase in speed, scale and variety, and the analytic techniques used to process these datasets become more sophisticated. These innovations promise significant social benefits, but also pose substantial challenges that could hinder social progress through digitalisation, and require societies to navigate significant choices and dilemmas. As major countries across the world develop their own governance models for digital innovation, there is now an opportunity and need to define a European approach to the governance of data management and data use.

    ALLEA realises its activities on data governance jointly with the Royal Society, drawing on an ongoing stream of work carried out by the Royal Society and the British Academy. The aim is to bring together the perspectives of scientific experts, policymakers and other stakeholders to find answers to challenging questions such as:
    • How can European data governance frameworks best ensure good governance and encourage innovation supporting human flourishing?
    • How fit for purpose are existing governance frameworks to adapt to the accelerating pace of technological development?
    • In which areas of governance and technology development can Europe develop and maintain leadership?
    • How can public trust in data use and data governance be established and maintained?

Programme of Action

A pan-European ALLEA-Royal Society conference “Flourishing in a data-enabled society” delved into these conundrums during a two-day event held in the UK in November 2018. In a set of keynotes, panel discussions and breakout sessions experts explored major opportunities and challenges that come with new uses of data, and discussed the potential trade-offs that stem from such use across various sectors in society, from academics to governments, from civil society actors to the tech industry.

Outcomes of the conference have been released in a discussion paper that seeks to inspire and shape the discourse around a data-enabled Europe.

Following up on this groundwork, it is envisaged to present the topic in a scoping paper to the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) via SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) in order to produce a comprehensive evidence review report to inform future European data governance policies,  drawing on the expertise of European academies.

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