BCS: Whitehall should plan for a successful digital future outside the EU
Chartered Institute for IT calls for UK to be an exemplar and innovator for a data age, ensuring information protection equivalence with EU regulations as a minimum goal
BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, has called on the government to take advantage of Brexit to become a leader in digital and data.
In a new report , “Digital Brexit: Planning for a successful digital future outside of the EU”, the organisation concludes that the UK’s future success outside the EU will be underpinned by its choices on major digital issues.
It argues that the UK needs to make the right choices for a future that is:
• Data-driven. The BCS says, “we want to see the UK as an exemplar and innovator in a data age, with data protection equivalence with EU regulations as a minimum goal.”
• Digitally-capable. It suggests, “We want to see investment in our current and future workforce along with academia and research to match our ambitions. We also want to create a welcoming environment for the top global talent in our sector.”
• Secure. “We want to see cross-border cooperation on cyber security, together with a boost in UK participation in international standards development to ensure maximised UK capabilities and an integrated security strategy.”
• Connected. It concludes,” We want to see a world-leading digital infrastructure that matches our ambitions in every sector through strategic cooperation on communications, regulation and pricing beyond Brexit.”
The report said, “Since the June 2016 Referendum result in favour of leaving the European Union, BCS members have been in dialogue about the issues and opportunities that arise from the change in relationship between the UK and Europe. Much uncertainty remains, but there are a number of clear objectives for UK government, business, the IT profession and wider society to aim for. Most of the issues are not new, but are heightened, more urgent or modified as a result of this decision.
“BCS believe the UK now has a choice; it could do what’s necessary to maintain the existing status quo or it could seize this as an opportunity to make the much needed changes in the IT sector that would truly lead to the UK positioning itself as a digital world leader. This report outlines those opportunities available to the UK in this new Brexit context, underpinned by what should happen regardless within the IT sector that will ensure IT is good for society.”
In particular, on data, the BCS said it wants to see:
• The UK becoming a leader and innovator in data protection. This sets data protection equivalence with EU regulations for the UK to be a minimum goal and high priority in Brexit negotiations.
• The UK and our members moving beyond a data protection compliance mindset to seeing personal data relationships as a strategic opportunity.
• The UK investing in data frameworks that align social and commercial goals in order to become that innovator in data protection. A Royal Commission on personal data ecosystems, how organisations, governments and individuals interact, would signal a major improvement in the UK’s ambition as a leader in global data protection and exploitation.
David Evans, director of policy at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT said: “Since the June 2016 Referendum result in favour of leaving the European Union, BCS members have been in dialogue about the issues and opportunities that arise from the change in relationship between the UK and Europe. Much uncertainty remains, but there are a number of clear objectives for UK government, business, the IT profession and wider society to aim for. Most of the issues are not new, but are heightened, more urgent or modified as a result of this decision.”