Unlocking the Value of Data Programme report published

September 12, 2023 by No Comments | Category Digital Scotland, Research

Blog by Christopher Bergin, Secretariat for the Independent Expert Group for the Unlocking the Value of Scotland’s Public Sector Personal Data programme.

The Independent Expert Group for the Unlocking the Value of Data programme published their final report, on 31 August, marking the conclusion of the first phase of the programme.

The Scottish Government commissioned this multi-disciplinary group to explore the issue of private sector use of public sector personal data in Scotland, as public sector data controllers had identified the need for clearer guidance in this area. The report proposes high-level principles and a series of recommendations to guide ethical access to public sector personal data in Scotland.

We believe that public sector data is an asset that should be used to benefit every part of society, whilst protecting citizens’ rights and privacy. While there are robust legal safeguards in place to ensure the safe, secure processing of personal data in Scotland, we need to address current barriers that impede greater value being created from this data.

The aim of the programme is therefore to develop evidence-based guidance to support public sector colleagues to safely and ethically share data with the private sector to deliver public benefit.

This report by the Independent Expert Group, and the recent review of current operational practice by Research Data Scotland, strengthens the evidence base we will draw upon to inform our next steps.

We will work in partnership with others, recognising that meaningful public, practitioner and industry engagement will be central to creating the conditions for data to be used in ethical, trustworthy ways, to deliver better outcomes for the people of Scotland, as envisioned in Scotland’s Digital and AI strategies.

Professor Angela Daly, Chair of the Independent Expert Group on Unlocking the Value of Data said: “I hope that this report will position Scotland as an internationally leading Ethical Digital Nation. In doing so, Scotland will implement excellence and equity in enabling engagement, and sharing the benefits of private sector use of public sector personal data. Furthermore, Scotland can provide an important example of doing data better for other countries and nations.”

Further details about the Unlocking the Value of Data programme, including a series of blogs, is available on the Scottish Government website.

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