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Scottish Government produces personal data principles


Mark Say Managing Editor

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A team within the Scottish Government has produced a draft set of nine principles, including a set of enabling conditions, for the use of personal data in the public sector.

They have been outlined by Angela Daly, chair of the Independent Expert Group for Unlocking the Value of Scotland’s Public Sector Personal Data in a blogpost, saying they are intended to guide decision making by data controllers.

They include a requirement for enabling conditions to be in place for unlocking personal datasets. Among them are that public sector bodies should publish information on the personal datasets they hold, that they need to ensure the security the quality of the data, and have training in place and staff with skills in data literacy.

Another principle emphasises the need to involve the public and listen to what people say in decision making and governance, taking into account the diversity of people and the fact that the creation and use of data is a dynamic process.

Others include an emphasis on public benefit, avoidance of harm, taking appropriate precautions, providing transparency on the purpose and benefits of using data, following legal and ethical standards, giving people the right to opt out of personal data being shared, and that the principles should be regularly reviewed.

Daly said the expert group will aim to simplify and clarify the language for the next version, and that it needs to work on how the principles will be implemented.


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