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Parliament Committee begins data sharing inquiry


Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee has launched an inquiry into data sharing between public bodies and other organisations.

Titled The right to privacy: Digital data, it will explore the ways data is currently shared and used across government, the public sector and industry, and the need to balance people's privacy with using the data for public benefits.

This comes from a recognition that data sharing can deliver a range of benefits, but also that it creates some risks to individuals that could undermine public trust in the use of data.

The committee referred to the publication in June by the Department for Health and Social Care of the document Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data, that proposes "a new duty to share anonymous data safely and appropriately across the entire health system".

It’s chair, Greg Clark MP, said: "The benefits of effective data sharing could be huge – enabling researchers to spot patterns in patient data, and advancing knowledge in the fields of science and medicine. However, pooling and sharing data gives rise to important questions of privacy, as well as the extent to which individuals have ownership of data that is personal to them.

“We will be examining how the Government can combine the right to privacy with effective data sharing."

The committee is therefore seeking writing submissions until Friday 28 January.

Image from iStock, Standby

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