Data Policy Network

Privitar Data Policy Network

Data is transforming our lives. From the funny memes we see on social media to a life-or-death medical diagnosis. Innovation, whether personalised social media feeds or personalised medicine, relies on collecting, using and sharing personal data. The legal, ethical, regulatory, economic and technological context guides decisions on what data to collect, how to use it and whether to share it.

We shouldn’t make those decisions alone. Collaboration helps us to find the best answers to the most difficult data policy questions and to adapt as the context changes. Our Data Policy Network (DPN) brings together professionals across disciplines with a common interest in data policy.

We support the network by:

  • Publishing The Data Policy Briefing, our newsletter, once every two months. You can read the latest issue and subscribe. The Data Policy Briefing is a platform for members to connect, share insights and find opportunities.
  • Hosting invitation-only Data Policy Evenings every two to three months on topics ranging from the value of data to AI & data minimisation. We invite a leading guest speaker on the topic to share their reflections then break into small groups to discuss the issues in depth, all under the Chatham House rule. Recent guest speakers include Jeni Tennison (ODI) and Reuben Binns (ICO). Reach out if you’d like to attend.
  • Collaborating with DPN members on joint projects, events and speaking engagements. We’re keen to share our expertise and collaborate on specific challenges in the sectors we’re most familiar with. We’re open to ideas.

Join our network

Upcoming Events

Deep Dive into Anonymisation

1st December 2021

Register here
NHSX logo“Enjoyed the event and learnt new things - a good combination!”

David EvansNHSX

alan turning institute logo"Highly recommend these lively events. I enjoyed the insightful discussion of the Royal Society’s report on PETs."

Jon CrowcroftProfessor
University of Cambridge Institute

bpe solicitors logo"Brilliant networking with diverse, relevant contacts from academic, the public sector and industry.”

Emily BarwellAssociate
Osborne Clarke LLP

alan turning institute logo"A great place to learn, meet experts and engage in challenging, honest debate about the issues and solutions of tomorrow."

Christina HitrovaResearcher
The Alan Turing Institure

ODI logo"A treat to chat with smart, friendly people who knew so much about privacy and data. It helped inform my work!"

Fionntán O’DonnellSenior Data Technologist

reform logo"A great mix of people with a breadth of expertise and experience, which led to insightful conversations."

Eleonora HarwichDirector of Research

Past Events

September 2021
AI fairness

AI systems make or support decisions about people. There are moral or legal imperatives to ensure that those decisions are fair. But assessing whether a system is ‘fair’ is complex. Dr Emre Kazim (UCL) and Marghi Sheth (AstraZeneca) explored conceptual and practical aspects of fairness, and to implement it in AI workflows.

April 2021
Privacy choices

Regulation aims to protect individuals as they interact with organizations seeking to collect and use personal data. However, the current regime is failing to prevent manipulative practices, like dark patterns. Could a duty of loyalty prevent this? Professor Woodrow Hartzog, author of Privacy’s Blueprint, took us through the arguments.

January 2021
Data sovereignty

We used ‘data sovereignty’ to mean legal or policy levers governments use to manage cross-border data flows. They commonly include local storage or processing rules, and bans or conditions on international data transfers. Our panel of legal, policy and technical experts considered the drivers and how businesses could respond.

September 2020
Protected Characteristics in Health Data

We teamed up with One HealthTech to discuss health data sharing and protected characteristics such as age or race. The coronavirus pandemic highlights the challenges, e.g. the virus has disproportionately affected BAME men. Our panel explored the legal, data science and health angles to using this data.

May 2020
The Value of Data

We’ve looked at fairness in an NHS context before, and returned to the topic in light of a report co-authored by Jeni Tennison, Vice President of the ODI. Jeni joined us to reflect on technical, ethical and legal barriers to sharing and using personal data – including the need for a fair value exchange.

February 2020
Data Minimization & AI

The Big Data paradigm assumes that more data means better AI models. However, that assumption appears in conflict with the GDPR’s data minimisation principle. Dr. Reuben Binns joined us to share his work at the ICO on the trade offs, AI and data protection, and on AI auditing.

December 2019
Facial Recognition

Facial recognition can identify and track individuals in public spaces. We don’t yet fully understand the benefits and the risks it presents. Olivia Varley-Winter joined us to present the Ada Lovelace Institute’s work on public attitudes to facial recognition. Uncertainty about how it works, who uses it and why undermines public trust.

September 2019
Ad Tech

Publishers auction ads to advertisers wanting to reach people like you. These auctions often rely on detailed profiling, tracking and a complex set of inferences. Dr. Michael Veale and others argue that this is unlawful under the GDPR and complained to the ICO. Michael joined us to reflect on this emerging issue.

March 2019

Data-driven innovation has clear benefits, but are they being shared equitably? The question is particularly important for the NHS as companies derive commercial value from our health data. Eleonora Harwich, Director of Research at Reform, shared insights from their report Making NHS Data Work for Everyone.

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