Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation launched after Government publishes response to consultation

November 21, 2018

A Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn 2017 Budget, will now start work following publication of the Government’s response to a consultation on the remit of the new organisation.

Writing in the Foreword to the response, Jeremy Wright QC, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, described the Centre as “the first body of its kind to be established anywhere in the world”. Although on a statutory footing, the Centre will be purely advisory and will not act as a regulator to the industry

The DCMS received 104 responses to the consultation which ran for 12 weeks between June and September 2018. They concluded that most responses were broadly supportive but did note that several respondents both questioned the need for yet another body in this area and whether regulation would stifle innovation in the sector. In answer to that criticism the Government hopes that the Centre will support “both innovation and ethics – separately and together – through enhanced governance.” 

The Government also rejected any suggestions to make the Centre engage in any large scale education and data literacy campaigns as they believe there are “other organisations within civil society and government that are better placed – in terms of their resources and established expertise – to carry out these activities”

Annexe A of the response sets out the final terms of reference and mode of operation

There is a webpage on Gov.uk setting out the founding Board members, who will be chaired by Roger Taylor, founder of healthcare data business Dr Foster. A summarised list is below:

  • Edwina Dunn, CEO of StarCount; founder and former CEO of Dunnhumby. Founder of the Female Lead
  • Professor Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at Oxford University. Director of the Digital Ethics Lab, Oxford Internet Institute, Chair of The Alan Turing Institute’s Data Ethics Group
  • Dame Patricia Hodgson, former Chair of Ofcom, Non-Executive Member of the Competition Commission
  • Dr Susan Liautaud, Public Policy School at Stanford University; Vice-Chair of Court of Governors, LSE; Founder of the Ethics Incubator
  • Baroness (Kate) Rock, Member of the House of Lords Select Committee on AI; former Non-Executive Director of FTSE 250 company Imagination Technologies until its sale
  • Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford; Member of the Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence
  • Richard Sargeant, Chief Commercial Officer, ASI Data Science. Co-founder of Engineers Without Borders UK
  • Kriti Sharma, VP Artificial Intelligence at Sage Group; Forbes 30 Under 30 in Technology (2017); United Nations Young Leader in 2018
  • Dame Glenys Stacey (appointment February 2019), Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Probation. Chair, Farm Inspection and Regulation Review, former CEO of Ofqual
  • Dr Adrian Weller, Senior Fellow in Machine Learning Cambridge University, Programme Director for AI at the Alan Turing Institute
  • Professor Lord (Robert) Winston, Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College London. Chairman of the Genesis Research Trust.