Technology, UAE

UAE, World Economic Forum to create framework for data policies

The UAE Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and The future and the World Economic Forum, the International Organisation for Public-Private Cooperation have unveiled an agile data policy framework for personal data.

The purpose of the framework, called Data Policy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Insights on personal data, is to guide policy and decision makers on how to effectively regulate personal data while adapting to the rapid technological changes in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The framework is the first policy framework paper to come out of the collaboration between the UAE (Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future) and the Forum’s network of Centres for the Fourth Industrial Revolution that began in July 2018. It calls for an “outcome-based approach” to creating a national data policy. Such an approach would allow policy and decision makers to measure success by achieving desired policy outcomes rather than following a fixed checklist. The framework empowers countries to adopt a tailor-made data policy that addresses their current challenges and future innovations.

“Data policy choices are not binary decisions with clean and clear lines – data policy is more like a 3D puzzle,” said Anne Toth, Head of Data Policy at the World Economic Forum.

Toth then highlighted that the most important benefit of an outcome-based approach is that it is designed for interoperability. “There are over 120 different data protection laws currently in effect across the world. This model has the advantage of allowing for and encouraging diverse approaches. Countries can determine the approach that suits them individually.”

According to both organisations, the framework is intended to help policy-makers think about the complexity of these interconnected issues and examine the viability of risk-based approaches.

“In a new context gazing towards the horizon of the exciting future, where change is the only constant, there is a need for robust policy frameworks to govern disruptive trends,” noted the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future of the UAE. “This report highlights, inter alia, the importance of an integrated and comprehensive perspective in invigorating data policy responses along such a new era of the 4IR.”

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