UK code of practice on data sharing launched
Submit Articles Back to Articles
11 May 2011
statutory code of practice designed to help businesses and public
sector bodies share people’s personal information appropriately has
been published today by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
The ICO’s data
sharing code of practice covers both routine and one-off
data sharing. It includes good practice advice that will be helpful to
all organisations that share personal information – for example when
local authorities share information with the health service or when
building societies provide information to a credit reference agency.
The code gives advice on when and how personal information can be
shared as well as how to keep it secure.
consulted on a draft code last October. A number of changes and
improvements have been made, including the addition of more public and
private sector case studies to explain practically how the Data
Protection Act applies to data sharing.
the full code of practice, the ICO has also published a summary
checklist that can be used as a quick reference guide to sharing
the code, organisations should find they have:
- a better understanding of when, whether, and
how personal information should be shared;
- improved trust and a better relationship with
the people whose information they want to share;
- reduced risk of the inappropriate or insecure
sharing of personal data; and
- minimised risk of breaking the law and
consequent enforcement action by the ICO or other regulators.
Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said:
argue that sharing data can play an important role in providing an
efficient service to consumers in both the public and private sector.
More and more transactions are done online - from shopping and banking
to managing tax and health records. People now have an expectation
that, where appropriate and necessary, their personal details may be
shared. However, this does not mean that companies or public bodies can
do this just as they see fit. The public rightly want to remain in
control of who is using their information and why, and they need to
feel confident that it is being kept safe.
“The code of
practice we’ve issued today offers a best practice approach that can be
applied in all sectors. It reflects the constructive comments we
received during the consultation period, meaning that we can be
confident that it not only makes sense on paper but will also work in
the real world too. I’d encourage all businesses and public bodies that
share personal data to get to grips with the code without delay so they
can be sure they are getting it right.”
1.The data sharing code of practice is available
on the ICO website here: http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/library/Data_Protection/Detailed_speciali
2.The summary checklist is available on the ICO
website here: http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/library/Data_Protection/Practical_applica
3.The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds
information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public
bodies and data privacy for individuals.
4.The ICO has specific responsibilities set out
in the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000,
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic
Communications Regulations 2003.
5.The ICO is on Twitter,
and produces a monthly e-newsletter.
the media page provides more information for journalists.
6.Anyone who processes personal information must
comply with eight principles of the Data Protection Act, which make
sure that personal information is:
- Fairly and lawfully processed
- Processed for limited purposes
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Accurate and up to date
- Not kept for longer than is necessary
- Processed in line with your rights
- Not transferred to other countries without
About the Author
The Information Commissioner’s Office is the UK’s
independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public
interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for
individuals. We do this by promoting good practice, ruling on
complaints, providing information to individuals and organisations and
taking appropriate action when the law is broken.
The ICO enforces and oversees the following
- Data Protection Act 1998
- Freedom of Information Act 2000
- Privacy and Electronic Communications
- Environmental Information Regulations
Follow us @Scopulus_News
Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-06-07 15:46:35 in Business Articles
All ICO Articles