The ICO's Data Sharing Code of Practice has today been laid before Parliament for 40 sitting days before it comes into force.
The ICO has acknowledged that "data is one of modern society’s greatest assets". This has been made clear during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, during which measured data sharing between organisations has enabled the roll-out of new technologies, such as the NHS Test and Trace service, under tight time constraints.
The ability to share and access greater pools of data undoubtedly facilitates innovation and technological advancements, however this always needs to be balanced against the protection of individual privacy rights.
This is where the ICO Data Sharing Code steps in, to assist organisations to navigate the legal framework whilst unlocking the potential of the data that we collectively hold. The Code covers the sharing of personal data between two or more controllers, whether this be on a routine or one-off basis. It also includes a number of helpful real life examples, to enable businesses and organisations to draw analogies and make decisions.
The Code, as well as the ICO's new data sharing information hub, are valuable resources for any organisation considering the available options for personal data sharing.
The new data sharing code aims to give businesses and organisations the confidence to share data in a fair, safe and transparent way, and it dispels many of the remaining myths about data sharing. The code will guide organisations through the practical steps they need to take to share data while protecting people’s privacy.