U.S., U.K. Officials Provide Update on Technology, Data Partnership; Announce New Phase
Friday, October 07, 2022 | Comments

U.S. and U.K. officials the progress of a partnership on technology and data.

The update was provided by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo and U.K. Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Michelle Donelan.

Under the partnership, the U.S. and U.K. recognized the strategic advantage of technology as crucial for securing prosperity and security and for ensuring shared democratic values are protected and promoted globally. To that end, President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson first agreed to develop a technology partnership in June 2021.

Since then, the two countries have made progress in several ways including:
• Promotion of bilateral and globally interoperable frameworks for cross-border data flows and support for data innovation including through the launch of prize challenges • A deepening of collaboration on semiconductors, particularly on addressing supply chain vulnerabilities
• Deeper cooperation on telecommunications supply diversification through a U.S.-U.K. Telecommunications Supplier Diversity Working Group, which ensures regular information sharing and finding opportunities for further collaboration including joint research and development initiatives
• Work to address the risks posed by AI and deliver on the AI Research and Development Cooperation Declaration
• Setting out plans in a joint statement for closer working in quantum information sciences and technology

To build on that, Raimondo and Donelan announced the launch of a new senior-level Comprehensive Dialogue on Technology and Data to further joint efforts. An annual meeting led by the assistant secretary of industry and analysis at the U.S. Department of Commerce; the ambassador at large for cyberspace and digital policy at the U.S. Department of State; the director general for digital and media at the U.K. Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; and director of technology and analysis and senior responsible owner for technology partnerships at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will set ambitions on a yearly basis to ensure progress under the partnership. The program for the coming year will focus on three work strands: data, critical and emerging technologies, and secure and resilient digital infrastructure. The countries will agree upon and deliver initiatives that support tangible and impactful outcomes in these areas.

Data is the key enabler of technology. Access to accurate and secure data internationally drives advances in technology, allowing the countries to share crucial information, such as life-saving research and cutting-edge technological innovation across borders. Since committing to deepening U.S.-U.K. dialogue on data flows last December, both countries have accelerated and broadened their discussions on ways in which the benefits of improved bilateral and globally interoperable cross-border data flows can be promoted and realized.

In this context, the countries announced significant progress on U.S.-U.K. data adequacy discussions. The UK welcomed the release of the U.S. executive order (EO) “Enhancing Safeguards for United States Signals Intelligence Activities” and intends to work expediently to conclude its assessment, with the aim of issuing an adequacy decision that will restore a stable and reliable mechanism for U.S.-U.K. data flows. The United States intends to work to designate the U.K. as a qualifying state under the EO, assuming the conditions for such designation can be satisfied, which would enable U.K. individuals who submit qualifying complaints to access the redress mechanism established under the EO.

This is a significant step forward in the country’s work on bilateral cross-border data flows, which will facilitate the free and secure flow of personal data from the U.K. to the U.S. The countries are working together to ensure that a deal on U.S.-U.K. data adequacy upholds the rights of data subjects, facilitates responsible innovation, gives individuals in both countries access to the services that suit them, reduces burdens on businesses and delivers better outcomes for people. Building on the strong bilateral relationship, the countries will continue to work collaboratively on multilateral initiatives to facilitate trusted global data flows, such as the future of the Global Cross-Border Privacy Rules Forum where the countries seek to remove barriers to commercial cross-border data flows and the OECD’s work on Trusted Government Access to Data, increasing trust in the lawful government access to data for law enforcement and national security purposes; and to counter the influence of authoritarian and protectionist approaches to cross-border data flows.

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