Data and securityRegulation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Regulation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Government wants to rewrite regulation rulebook to embrace technological change as part of its modern Industrial Strategy

Speaking at London Tech Week on 11 June, Business Secretary Greg Clark announced that the Government the regulation rulebook will be rewritten to ensure UK leads tech revolution and empowers consumers.

New measures will transform the UK’s regulatory system to support innovation while empowering consumers and will free up businesses and innovators to test their ideas, make use of the latest technologies and get their products to market quicker – keeping the UK at the forefront of innovation.

The new regulation will have Smart Data Review to offer consumers greater control over their data to get better deals and Vulnerable Consumer Challenge to ensure the most vulnerable and least digitally engaged customers are still able to enjoy the best deals.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “Almost every sector and industry is facing disruption from technological change – with the pace of change only accelerating – disrupting markets, companies and the way we work and live our lives.

“Our plans will ensure the UK’s regulatory system maintains its pioneering reputation, keeping pace with cutting-edge technology – from personalised AI medicine to smart ships that can navigate the seas autonomously.

“Our modern Industrial Strategy and innovative regulatory landscape will ensure the UK remains the destination of choice for those developing and bringing transformative products and services to market rapidly and safely.”

Regulation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution presents challenges for regulatory systems across the globe, as they struggle to keep pace with rapid, complex technological innovation. Regulation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution White Paper sets out plans to transform the UK’s regulatory system to tackle these challenges and seize the opportunity presented by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The proposed reforms will ensure an agile and flexible approach to regulation in the UK, a key part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy.

This will allow entrepreneurs and business to embrace innovation, seize the opportunities of cutting-edge technology and bring transformative products to market – such as personalised medicine or pioneering new modes of transport – to benefit consumers and other businesses.

The paper concludes with commitments for change with regards to facing the future, focusing on outcomes, supporting experimentation, improving access, building dialogue and leading the world.

Smart Data Review Outcome

This cross-government review, from September last year, considered how to accelerate the development and use of new data-driven technologies and services to improve the consumer experience in regulated markets.

Stakeholders including developers, intermediaries, regulated companies, consumer organisations and charities were consulted and responses from providers of innovative data-driven services were invited.

The review recognises the changing pace of technology, and increased availability of data of how people use services, such as energy consumption or mobile phone usage – but that customers can often have to wait to gain access to their own information, and cannot use it effectively enough to shop around for the best deals.

Plans for the outcome include the establishment of a new cross-sectoral Smart Data Function to oversee the use of smart data in different markets. This could allow firms to develop apps that can help consumers manage their household bills in one place and prompt them when a better deal becomes available.

Protecting consumers

The proposals from the Smart Data Review also include measures to protect vulnerable customers. A new Vulnerable Consumer Challenge will encourage innovators, charities and regulators to ensure their most vulnerable and least digitally engaged customers are able to enjoy the best deals.

Greg Clark added: “As markets and services change, the volume of data only grows, providing evermore innovative applications of consumer data. We want consumers to benefit from that innovation but in a way that ensures their information is safe.

“Our proposals will do just that, protecting consumers whilst allowing them to secure the best deals available on the market.”

UK’s tryst with digital regulation

In April, Home Secretary had unveiled tough new regulation for tech companies by introducing the world’s first online safety laws geared towards the UK’s online safety.

As part of the UK’s online safety, social media companies and tech firms will be legally required to protect users or face tough penalties if they do not comply.

New research from January this year has revealed that UK public sector organisations welcome new regulations around data protection as an opportunity to transform their content management. Recently, a new AI Guide, an online marketplace and Technology Innovation Strategy were announced focusing on how government can harness the potential of new technologies.

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