Fun Saturday morning thread. I am *still* reading the National Data Strategy (who knew - one of my least fun epic struggles) and it really is object lesson in what a strategy isn’t.
I know all these ridiculous vision - mission - strategy - plan - aims - objectives are hard to differentiate, but a “strategy” is not a vision of how things could be if magic was real and it was possible to achieve and maintain several opposing outcomes at the same time.
This is my favourite definition from Roger Martin, gleaned via @russelldavies years ago. "Don’t mistake non-choices for strategy”…
I have just spent nearly an hour trying to understand what kind of regulatory environment Mission 3 of the National Data Strategy sets out; it is the ultimate Goldilocks plan in which everything is *just right* for literally everyone, with no compromise or ill effects.
It doesn’t set out a strategy, but a Utopian vision in wch govt can be both big and small; poeple have choice and not; isolationism leads to global might. My redux attached (plus alt text). The proposal is: a Goldilocks approach to regulation that ma
Also, correction, it’s Mission 2, not Mission 3. (Wishful thinking on my part.) “Securing a pro-growth and trusted data regime.”
Anyway, blimey, I really am quite furious about this. Off to do some vigorous digging and loud swearing before I brace myself for Mission Three.

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More from @rachelcoldicutt

18 Oct
Fun little nugget I just discovered in the National Data Strategy is the action in s.4.2.1 to “implement the recommendations of the Joined up data in government” paper…
The paper describes itself as setting out to, "engage with the data linkage community across government, academia, the third sector and internationally to understand challenges faced and identify state-of-the-art data linking methods to help realise those benefits."
But I’d go as far as saying it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It comes across as a fairly technocratic guide to improving methodologies. Privacy experts are better placed than I to assess its approach to Privacy-Preserving Record Linkage. But - dear reader - it buries the lede.
Read 10 tweets
16 Oct
Can anyone point me to the latest indication of what might be in scope for the Online Harms Bill pls? Have sort of zoned out of this for a while, and am just picking through some of the potential regulatory implications of the National Data Strategy.
In particular the CDEI recommendation that online targeting is regulated by the “online harms regulator”…
Also is anyone putting in a response to the Data Strategy that is very extremely pro x-gov/biz/public sector data sharing pls? If you’re willing to share I’d be v interested to know what standards and intermediaries you’re advocating for.
Read 4 tweets
7 Oct
Good morning good morning. Listening to this evidence session on UK ARPA.
Always v impressed with Greg Clarke’s chairing of this committee - noting that he is picking up on the very important question of who the customer would be for ARPA, and who gets to set the challenges for the future of the country. Is it the government? Researchers?
Of course no one has mentioned *citizens* or *civil society* which I ofc feel is at least part of the answer.
Read 40 tweets
5 Oct
This is interesting (need to hear verbatim to be sure), but if system being blamed rather than human error, how many days till we get a “mutant spreadsheet” comment from PM, I wonder?
Meanwhile, I bet Microsoft are just plain old *deeee-lighted* about this.
Also, how long till we have all committed to memory the number of rows in an XLSX file? What strange days these are.
Read 4 tweets
25 Sep
Looking at the ministerial forward to the UK National Data Strategy, I find myself intrigued by this line - “positioning the UK as a global champion of data use” - and its possible meaning…
Later on in the strategy it says, "When we refer to data, we mean information about people, things and systems.” So, the UK will become a global champion of using information about people, things and systems?
I am not at all against the odd rhetorical flourish, but I would like to know what that means and how we will know when we’ve achieved it.
Read 4 tweets
24 Sep
This will not be the big technology story today, but this is incredibly concerning: "Big tech
should be persuaded to provide, for free, the wiring of our social infrastructure.”

If you were wondering, my respone is no, no, no, no, no.
In a democracy, social infrastructure should be decoupled from ad tech and surveillance.
In fact, in this report, I have called for the reverse - for a Community Tech Stack. If you support that, please do get in touch. Contact details on the website.
Read 6 tweets

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