Alexsis Wintour (presenter), Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon and Laura Carmichael; Lapin Limited
Independent data stewardship remains a core component of good data governance practice. Yet, there is a need for more robust independent data stewardship models that are able to oversee data-driven, multi-party data sharing, usage and re-usage, which can better incorporate citizen representation, especially in relation to personal data.
We propose that data foundations – inspired by Channel Islands’ foundations laws – provide a workable model for good data governance not only in the Channel Islands but also elsewhere. These offer a robust workable model for data governance in practice, as they provide: a comprehensive rulebook; a strong, independent governance body; an inclusive decision-making body; a flexible membership; a trust-enhancing technical and organisational infrastructure; and a well-regulated structure.
We outline eight universal design principles to unite all data foundations: (a) all data are relevant, (b) data stewards are independent, (c) expected standards of good practice for data governance specified by a code of conduct, (d) self-regulation, (e) monitoring is the heartbeat, (f) sustainability, (g) accreditation stimulates market growth, and (h) stakeholder approvals need to be maintained.
There is an opportunity to advance the wider data institution movement through a legal structure that is ready for use and well-suited to the needs of data sharing initiatives, in particular, since data foundations incorporate the vital element of independent data steward through the statutory role of the guardian.2
The principal purpose for this paper is to demonstrate why data foundations are well suited to the needs of data sharing initiatives and examine how they could be established in practice.