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ICO provides £275,000 for data rights projects


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has provided £275,000 to support four projects on data rights in social initiatives.

They cover the data rights of homeless people, the impact of data protection of new healthcare technologies, training for researchers in the use of public sector data and data protection in smart homes.

The money has come from the ICO Grants Programme, which supports research into practical solutions with public benefits by tackling areas of data protection and privacy risk.

Cardiff University has received the largest award of £99,800 to develop scalable training for UK researchers in the use of public sector data. It will run a survey of researchers, discussion groups and workshops with members of the public to feed into the design of a training programme.

Oxford University receives £81,300 for a project on the future of data protection by design and default in smart homes. This will involve a study of six smart homes to examine privacy preferences and to prototype new tools, interfaces and approaches to privacy.

Health policy thinktank the PHG Foundation has received £72,900 to examine the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act on regulating genomic technologies in healthcare. This will focus on the use of pseudonymised data and potential associated risks.

Finally, the charity St Martin’s in the Field has been given £21,200 to look at data rights inclusion for homeless people. It is aiming to provide an effective means of informing homeless people of their data rights and how to enforce them.

Eye on the future

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: “The ICO Grants Programme is a key part of our Technology Strategy and a further demonstration of our commitment to being a relevant, capable and collaborative regulator which has an eye on the future as well as fulfilling our regulatory duties in the present.

“Along with the first grants recipients, these latest projects will help us to identify and address new threats and opportunities while supporting new and innovative ways of thinking about data protection and privacy.”

Image from justgrimes, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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