Data for Public Benefit

Involve | Data for Public Benefit Balancing the risks and benefits of data sharing| April 2018 |

This report collates the findings of workshops across six local authority areas across England. The workshops looked into how  professionals from public and voluntary organisations to learn how they understand, define and value the public benefits which could be derived from the use of personal data.

It also establishes a framework for those providing public services to assess and evaluate the public benefits that the better use of data may be able to deliver and attempt to balance this against the risks sharing data may entail.

patient data
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Three key tests arose out of the workshops:

Purposeful– When the purpose of a proposed use or sharing of data is clearly and transparently defined, participants were readier to accept a proposed use of data. It was also felt this helped provide protection (for both the data subject and the organisations involved) against data being used for purposes beyond that for which it was initially shared.

Proportionate- A number of factors contributed to assessments of proportionality in the workshops, including that the proposed use of data minimises the amount of data needing to be shared. Such as if it considers  whether personally identifiable data is necessary to achieve the goal. Equally,  if it has clear parameters to protect against the data being used for purposes it not provided or shared for.  Finally, does it consider the sensitivity of the data, the likelihood of risks being realised and balance the severity of a potential negative impact.

Responsible– Participants explored the idea that to be a justifiable use of public resources, the benefits likely to be achieved by a particular use of data have to be balanced not just against the risks, but against delivering the intended outcome.


The full report is available to download from Involve

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