Agile Data Policy Framework Released by UAE and World Economic Forum at Global Future Council Meeting

11 Nov 2018

Oliver Cann, World Economic Forum, Tel: +41 79 799 3405;;

Amanda Russo, Tel.: +1 415 734 0589;

· New framework will help policy makers build regulatory and legal structures and frameworks that can evolve with technology

· Read the paper here. For more information, visit the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network

Dubai, United Arab Emirates 10 November 2018 The United Arab Emirates Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and The future and the World Economic Forum, the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation, released today an agile data policy framework for personal data. The purpose of the framework, called Data Policy in the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Insights on personal data, is to guide policy and decision makers on how to effectively regulate personal data while adapting to the rapid technological changes in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The framework is the first policy framework paper to come out of the collaboration between the United Arab Emirates (Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future) and the Forum’s network of Centres for the Fourth Industrial Revolution that began in July 2018. It calls for an “outcome-based approach” to creating a national data policy. Such an approach would allow policy and decision makers to measure success by achieving desired policy outcomes rather than following a fixed checklist. The framework empowers countries to adopt a tailor-made data policy that addresses their current challenges and future innovations.

“Data policy choices are not binary decisions with clean and clear lines – data policy is more like a 3D puzzle,” said Anne Toth, Head of Data Policy at the World Economic Forum. “The most important benefit of an outcome-based approach is that it is designed for interoperability. There are over 120 different data protection laws currently in effect across the world. This model has the advantage of allowing for and encouraging diverse approaches. Countries can determine the approach that suits them individually.”

“In a new context gazing towards the horizon of the exciting future, where change is the only constant, there is a need for robust policy frameworks to govern disruptive trends.” commented the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future of the UAE. “This report highlights, inter alia, the importance of an integrated and comprehensive perspective in invigorating data policy responses along such a new era of the 4IR.”

The framework in this paper is intended to help policy-makers think about the complexity of these interconnected issues and examine the viability of risk-based approaches.

About the World Economic Forum Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network

The global network of Centres for the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings together governments, leading companies, civil society and experts from around the world to co-design and pilot innovative approaches to the policy and governance of technology. Its vision is to shape the development and use of technology in ways that maximize the benefits and minimize the risks. The network will develop, implement and scale up agile and human-centred pilot projects that can be adopted by policy-makers, legislators and regulators worldwide.

Notes to editors

About the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network:

View the best Forum Flickr photos at

Watch live webcasts of sessions at

Become a fan of the Forum on Facebook at

Follow the Forum on Twitter at and

Follow the Forum on Instagram at

Read the Forum Agenda at

Subscribe to Forum news releases at

All opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Economic Forum Blog is an independent and neutral platform dedicated to generating debate around the key topics that shape global, regional and industry agendas.

About Us



Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum