Pinsent Masons partners with the Open Data Institute to explore next stage of data trusts

13 Nov 2019 | 09:51 am | 3 min. read

International law firm, Pinsent Masons, has joined the ODI’s Commercial Partnership Programme. The legal firm joins existing partners including, Arup, Co-op, Deutsche Bank, and Refinitiv: a peer group of forward-thinking organisations who share a common vision of a collaborative and open future.

The partnership will build on Pinsent Masons’ work alongside the ODI and Office for AI on the pioneering data trusts pilot projects earlier this year. Pinsent Masons advised on the legal and governance aspects of establishing data trusts to reduce the illegal wildlife trade and global food waste.

Each project explored the concept of how data trusts can harness the power of data exchange between organisations that have data, and those that can use the data in tackling major global challenges. Pinsent Masons will now work with the ODI to explore the next stage in the evolution of data trusts.

David Beardmore, Commercial Director at the ODI said: "We’re delighted that Pinsent Masons are joining our commercial partnership programme. As we explore different models of data access, including data trusts, it is essential that we can draw on their expertise to unpick the legal complexities - having the skills of a prestigious law firm that understands these issues is really beneficial.

"It’s important that our partnership programme includes organisations from a range of industry sectors - this allows them and us to better understand the opportunities and challenges posed by data sharing today."

Following the pilots, Pinsent Masons is now working with the Internet of Food Things (IOFT) Network Plus to see how data trusts might be used in their work in investigating how AI, data analytics and emerging technologies can enhance the digitalisation of the UK food supply chain. The project will explore challenges such as reducing food waste, increasing nutritional value, increasing productivity and reducing environmental impact across the supply chain.

They are also advising on a prospective data trust model in the financial services sector that would enable open finance activities through significantly widening access to customer data held by financial institutions.

Andrew McMillan, TMT Partner said: "We are looking forward to being part of the ODI's Partnership Programme and working with organisations across a range of sectors on how we can collaboratively create an open future where data is an asset and enabler for progressive change.

"Working with the ODI this year on the pilot scheme was a fantastic opportunity to build on the work we had previously done exploring the use of data trusts. We were able to apply the expertise of our lawyers to work towards the creation of a trusted data sharing framework. Through the Partnership Programme, we hope to continue our work in this area and begin to tackle major global challenges, such as food waste."

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