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Government launches Smart Data Council


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Kevin Hollinrake
Kevin Hollinrake
Image source: David Woolfall, CC BY 3.0

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) has set up a Smart Data Council to work on other smart data schemes such as helping consumers and small businesses switch utility providers more easily.

It said the new body is comprised of key government departments, regulators, industry and consumer groups, and includes representatives from Citizen’s Advice, Innovate Finance and other stakeholders.

DBT described smart data as involving the secure sharing of customer data with authorised third parties to help improve services for consumers, and said this will help people and businesses switch suppliers and save money.

Business and Trade Minister Kevin Hollinrake MP said: “Smart data can be a real game changer for consumers across the UK, potentially saving people hundreds or even thousands of pounds a year.

“Our new Smart Data Council will build on the success of Open Banking and spearhead measures in sectors like SME finance, energy and telecoms, increasing competition and putting more money in the pockets of consumers and small firms.”

DBT said that Open Banking – an entity that uses data to drive competition in the sector – is now supporting over seven million customers.

First meeting

The inaugural meeting of the Smart Data Council will take place on 25 April 2023.

Its launch has been announced along with the beginning of the debate in Parliament on the Data Protection and Information Bill, which is aimed at giving organisations more flexibility in how they protect personal data.

The Government has emphasised the scope to reduce the number of consent pop-ups people see on websites, and said it will work with industry and the Information Commissioner’s Office to ensure the availability of technology to help people set their preferences automatically. It said this will help web users to retain choice and control over how their data is used.


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