28 June 2011

Under the right circumstances and for the right reasons, data sharing across and between organisations can play a crucial role in providing a better, more efficient service to customers in a range of sectors, both public and private.

But citizens’ and consumers’ rights under the Data Protection Act must be respected. Information rights are higher than ever on the public agenda due to more and more transactions being done online either by us or about us. Shopping, entertainment, banking, communicating, socialising – but also tax, pensions, benefits, health records, council services and the list goes on.

The Information Commissioner’s office (ICO) has published a new code of practice to help organisations manage their data sharing appropriately. The code is about different types of disclosure, often involving many organisations and very complex information chains; chains that grow ever longer, crossing organisational and even national boundaries.

Organisations that don’t understand what can and cannot be done legally are as likely to disadvantage their clients through excessive caution as they are by carelessness. But when things go wrong this can cause serious harm. The ICO want citizens and consumers to be able to benefit from the responsible sharing of information, confident that their personal data is being handled responsibly and securely.

Follow this link to download the Data Sharing Code of Practice