May 17, 2020

UK citizens to get new and "robust" data protection laws

Callum Rivett
2 min
Data protection in the UK is getting an overhaul, with theEuropean Union's current General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being brought into UK law...

Data protection in the UK is getting an overhaul, with the European Union's current General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) being brought into UK law. 

The proposals will see citizens entitled to the "right to be forgotten" which will prevent companies from storing and using lifetime amounts of data from its users.

This will enable people to "have more control over their data" and "require more consent for use" according to Digital Minister Matt Hancock.

"The new data protection bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, sets of data laws in the world," Hancock commented.


"Our measures are designed to support businesses in their use of data, and give consumers the confidence that their data is protected and those who misuse it will be held to account."

Currently, maximum fines for data security breaches for firms stands at £500,000 ($650,000) but that figure is set to rise to £17mn ($22mn) or 4% of global turnover thanks to the EU's GDPR.  

Included in the bill is the proposal to make it easier and simpler for users to withdraw their consent for their data to be used, as well as expanding the definition of personal data to include IP addresses, DNA and cookies.

It will also require companies to obtain explicit consent when processing sensitive personal data, whilst users will be able to ask for their data to be deleted.

GDPR is due to come into effect in May 2018 and the UK government has already confirmed that it will continue to meet its standards after departing the EU.



Share article

Jun 16, 2021

SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data

British Army
3 min
Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM, explains the important role that SAS is playing in the British Army’s digital transformation

SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation. 

“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.

In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”

Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.

Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”

SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”

With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.

“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”

Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.

“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”


Share article