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Smart Dubai Office marks data law milestone

Dubai Data Initiative being extended to new government entities, full law ready by year-end

Smart Dubai Office marks data law milestone
Dubai Data Law will enable open data sharing across public and private sector organisations and individuals, says Dr Bin Bishr.

Smart Dubai Office has hosted an event to introduce the Dubai Data Establishment and to thank the government entities that have participated in developing the Dubai Data Initiative to date.

The event, held at Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, included a number of government organisations, and covered the development of the new law and the DDE, the roadmap for data sharing across public and private sector organisations and privacy and data protection measures to protect data.

Dr Aisha Bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai Office said that the event was held to congratulate the pioneers who have worked to make the Dubai Data Law a reality, which is a major part of the smart city initiative.

"Through these initiatives that are part of the Dubai Smart City agenda, Dubai Data Law has been established to share the experience of our government entities with all constituents, such as public, private and individuals, so that we can benefit from both open and shared data, and through this we can deliver efficiency, insights, and opportunities for everyone, whether they are a decision maker or an entrepreneur," she said.

The Dubai Open Data Committee was formed by decree of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in November 2014 to create the strategy, framework, law and roadmap for data sharing among government and private sector entities in Dubai. The committee had looked at open data laws in the UK, and also for the cities of San Francisco and Tokyo, but Dubai's ambitions go much farther than any previous open data programs, Dr Aisha added.

Abdulla Al Madani, CEO of Corporate Technical Support Services Sector, RTA, and chairman of the Dubai Open Data Committee, said that the initiative is unique in looking to create a unifying framework for data sharing across all sectors and in establishing the Dubai Data Establishment to oversee implementation and regulation.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the team, and Dr Aisha, for the celebration today to acknowledge the team's work and all those who contributed to the team. A huge number of people and entities have worked on this team, to make this unique data law," Al Madani said.

"It is considered pioneering work, we have looked at cities around world and have not seen a law with this completeness, of data, open data, shared data, and putting the structure in place for this to happen."

Younus Al Nasser, assistant director general of Smart Dubai Office and CEO of Dubai Data Establishment explained that committee has established a number of elements for the Dubai Data Initiative, including defining the objectives and scope of the law, setting data classification, and organising strategic projects with key organisations. Eight pilot projects have been completed with Dubai government entities, which have identified around 160 data sets that can be shared, some with the public, to test the data classification model and other parts of the data sharing framework.

"Data today is the fuel of the smart city transformation, today we have been part of an important milestone of the Dubai Data Initiative," he said. "Dubai Data Establishment will lead the implementation of Dubai Data Law, which will lead to better decision-making across different sectors and really fuel the creativity and innovation across different sectors, be it academia or entrepreneurs, and allow them to create benefits and insights from the data."

As part of the pilot project, the committee has also developed maturity measurements, to judge the readiness of government entities to share data, and these maturity measurements will now be applied to other government organisations as they are brought into the project. The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government has also launched the first cycle of training for government entities to bring them onboard with the Dubai Data Initiative.

The pilot projects have also covered data privacy and security in depth, Al Nasser added, and Dubai Information Security Centre has worked with the committee on establishing the standards for privacy, security, and sensitivity of data, and addressing these factors across all layers of the data sharing process. The full policy and regulation, which includes protection of user's identity, and protection of intellectual property, will be completed by the end of the year.

"Data Privacy and data protection is a main priority for us when we are addressing data sharing and data openness; it has been across different stages of preparing the inventories of data from government entities, through to classification and preparing for sharing of data on the platform," he said.

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