Policies and guidance

Policies and guidance help people and organisations collect, access, use and share data in ways that follow norms and laws intended to increase positive impact and reduce harm

Policies and guidance mean different things in different settings. They can range from principles organisations aim to follow, to best practice for certain processes, industry standards and laws. In some context guidance is legally bind and policy is not, in others it is the opposite. Policies and guidance include both the Smart Data Innovation Guidebook and the Smart Data Implementation Guide by CDEI.

The relevance of this section, is that policies and guidance can help us to better understand how data can be accessed, used and shared in a particular context and Smart Data schemes will need a variety of policy and guidance materials as they develop and evolve.

Guidance and policies must be created or adopted to support data users and data providers to create value from data. Guidance and policies for data can be applied in multiple contexts, such as:

  • A particular sector or domain

  • An international, national or regional level

  • A whole organisation or a specific department

  • A whole population or certain communities

  • A general guide relating to data

Guidance for ecosystem actors in Open Banking provided substantial value to participants, similar to the data standards, and were iterated with feedback over multiple versions. This guidance ranged from informal support that the individuals in the Open Banking Implementation Entity provided organisations during implementation, to formal standards like the Customer Experience Guidelines which ensure value is delivered to end users.

Data innovation programmes outside of Smart Data, such as the ICO Regulatory Sandbox, have regulatory guidance as a critical value proposition for the initiative. Without the right to data portability, enshrined in GDPR and UK GDPR, Smart Data would not be possible.

The ICO Data Sharing Information Hub provides clear guidance and practical tools, such as the Data Sharing Code for organisations and businesses on how to share data lawfully, while protecting people’s personal information.

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