techUK Policy Pulse | Your weekly update on digital and tech policy

After a scorcher of a bank holiday weekend, Tuesday greeted us with the accustomed April showers signalling the return to work and a busy week for tech.

This week the IWF published its Annual Report which focuses in on the story of Olivia, a child who was abused for many years and whose images remain online despite being rescued over 5 years ago. The IWF urges all of us to look at the stories behind the figures. To read about the story behind the statistics, click here.

New statistics published this week reveal that the UK is a global centre for socially responsible tech innovation. ‘Tech for social good’ companies were worth £2.3 billion in 2018, with a turnover of £732 million – almost £100m more than the amount generated by the manufacture of consumer electronics in the UK!

The Government announced a new national entitlement to fully fund adults to gain basic digital skills. Given the digitisation of our society and economy and the fact that 1 in 5 UK adults have zero or only very rudimentary digital skills this is a very welcome step. You can read more about the announcement here.

Talking of skills, an amendment from Jo Johnson, the former universities minister, and Paul Blomfield, co-chairman of the APPG on international students, to the Immigration Bill is calling for overseas students to be given a two years post-study work visa. This would bring the UK in closer alignment to our international competitors and is something techUK has been advocating for – particularly for those overseas students on STEM courses.

North of the border, Glasgow hosted the 2019 CyberUK Conference, bringing together the UK’s cybersecurity community. Of note was a speech from Director of GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming where he announced that the cyber security arm of GCHQ, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), will increase its collaboration with the private and public sectors in order to share information about potential cyber security attacks in a matter of seconds. Read our take here.

Finally, a new tool to help users assess the credibility and accuracy of news and information websites launched this week in the UK. NewsGuard has been up and running for over a year in the US and is now being rolled out in the UK and other European countries ahead of the European Parliamentary elections in an effort to combat disinformation and misinformation. I went along to the launch event and you can read my summary here

techUK news and events

techUK hosted another successful Early Tech Career Network event yesterday evening bringing together a group of 50 recent entrants into the sector to hear about all things IoT and to network. Find out more about the evening and how you can get involved in the next event by clicking here.

techUK is running a half-day conference on the 2 May exploring how and why tech firms should adopt ambitious climate targets. The event, which is open to all techUK members, will explore the business case for climate change targets and will unpack what it means on a very practical level, drawing from the experience of civil society, experts and companies which are already committed to deep cuts in their carbon footprint. Sign up here.

On 21 May 2019, techUK is hosting an interactive event exploring the economics of Digital Identity. Together with representatives of sector organisations, companies and stakeholders currently working in the digital ID space, we will pick apart the challenges and discuss: what needs to be done to create an interoperable digital ID market in the UK? Find out more and register here.

  • Vinous Ali

    Vinous Ali

    Associate Director for Policy
    T 07595 410 658

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