Towards a Declaration for Responsible and Intelligent Data Practice

This post was originally published on 10th May 2019 on

In a world awash with data, the ability to make the right decisions regarding the use of data becomes increasingly more complex and difficult. Our capacity to create, collect and analyse data from disparate sources such as the environment, communications and everyday interactions, with ever greater speed and acuity, using advances such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, creates challenges that are not only technical, but legal and ethical too.

We have seen the impact that bad actors have had regarding personal data misuse, such as highlighted in the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, creating increased and justified mistrust of organisations that harvest and utilise our data. Coupled with the increasing impact of GDPR and its reinforcing of personal data rights we are faced with an environment where organisations are required to navigate ever increasing complexity. Open Data Manchester believes that those that seek to do good — or at least no harm — with data need to differentiate themselves from those that would otherwise exploit it with no broader interest as to the wider impact on the individual and society.

It is vital that organisations and communities who use or are affected by data come together to create a shared vision of what best practice in data should look like, to underpin the development of new insight, and future products and services. This vision would understand the opportunities, consequences and impact of data use, support those that seek to do the right thing and create a more ‘open’ and informed understanding of responsible and intelligent data use. This would not only go towards enhancing trust in established and new ways of working, but reduce the potential of opportunities being avoided, leading to the loss of meaningful benefits to individuals, organisations and society as a whole.

To this end Open Data Manchester CIC is looking to work with public, private and third sector organisations both from the region and beyond to shape and implement that vision, to come together to build a Declaration for Responsible and Intelligent Data Practice and support Greater Manchester to become a beacon of excellence in this field.

Read the Declaration here.