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Public opinion sought on statutory Code of Practice

13 October 2010

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Members of the public are being asked for their views on the sharing of personal data as part of a consultation exercise launched by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The consultation, which runs for 12 weeks until 5 January 2011, focuses on the new statutory Code of Practice on the sharing of personal data. The draft code sets out a model of good practice for public and private organisations.

It covers routine information sharing as well as one-off instances where a decision is made to release data to a third party such as a school passing on information about a child to a social services department.

The code covers a number of areas including:

  • What factors an organisation must take into account when coming to a decision about whether to share personal data.
  • The point at which individuals should be told about their data being shared.
  • The security and staff training measures that must be put in place.
  • The rights of the individual to access their personal data; and when it’s not acceptable to share personal data.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said: “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.”

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