Accountability for Data Ethics 

Accountability for data ethics means taking responsibility for the outcomes that your firm's data and analytics produce. This is a challenge for many business sectors, but particularly so for insurance, as it looks for insight about risk, while under regulator obligations on fairness and discrimination.


I wrote back in January 2019 that accountability had become the biggest challenge facing insurance executives. And nowhere is that more evident than in relation to data, analytics and their firm’s digital strategies. These are moving their firm in new and exciting directions, yet at the same time, exposing it to all sorts of ways.

Parallel to this have been two key developments by the UK regulator. Firstly, the introduction of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, and secondly, the arrival of Supervisory Technologies. Together these have enhanced the ability of the regulator to both identify misconduct and punish it.

What this adds up to then is senior management functions facing increased scrutiny of complex digital projects. How then should firms respond?

Building a data ethics framework is the first step, for it helps organise the multiplicity of issues associated with data, analytics and insurance. And the foundations of that framework are a robust ethical risk assessment and a clear set of commitments around how the firm should deliver that digital strategy. 

Contact me to find out more about the data ethics framework I use with the insurers I work for. 

Quote | 2018

28% of UK insurance executives think that by 2022, the greatest risk they expect to face will be personal regulatory sanction because of their firm's compliance failings”


Accountability for data ethics is organised around a data ethics framework, which has the following elements...

  • a data ethics risk assessment 
  • the right commitments and policies
  • the ethical issues raised by the collection and use of large datasets.
  •  the associated digital practices, such as those relating to capabilities, culture and due diligence. 
  • delivery and monitoring processes, such as for as performance, reporting and compliance.
  • the oversight to all this, in terms of the effectiveness of processes like compliance and audit.

Guidance  |  2019

I was a member of the CII's Digital Ethics Forum and became the lead author for the resulting "Digital Ethics: a  Companion to the Code of Ethics."  


I work with a number of insurers, looking at their digital strategies from an ethical perspective, and helping them to build their response to the ethical risks that are identified. What I bring to these projects is an independent perspective and a lot of foresight. These insurers often comment that I open their thinking to things that other advisers had not raised.    


I wrote these two articles as part of a series that challenged insurers on the fundamental issues being raised for the sector by data and analytics. 

On Honesty and Purpose

On Actuarialism

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