Foreword by Professor Sir Ian Diamond: “I am delighted to introduce the UK Statistics Authority’s new Centre for Applied Data Ethics which we committed to establishing in the UK Statistics Authority’s five-year strategy published last year. Being able to show that researchers, statisticians and analysts have not only considered how they can use data but also how they should use data from an ethical perspective is vital to ensuring public acceptability around the use of data for research and statistical purposes. For this reason, I believe that it is important that as the UK’s national statistical institute, we play a lead role in providing statisticians, researchers and analysts with applied sources of advice, guidance and other tools to help them ensure they use data in ethically appropriate ways. I have therefore established the UK Statistics Authority’s Centre for Applied Data Ethics with the aim of being recognised as world-leaders in the practical application of data ethics for statistics and research.
The new Centre will build on the excellent work of the National Statistician’s Data Ethics Advisory Committee that will continue to provide me with valuable independent data ethics advice and assurance about the collection and use of data for research and statistics.
The significant role the analytical community across Government and beyond has played in informing the response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic highlights the importance of using data in new ways to produce timely statistics, research and analysis to inform the important policy questions of the day. Demonstrating how we apply the principles of good data ethics is an important part of this and is a key enabler, and safeguard, to unlock the power of data for better research and statistics for the public good. By focussing our efforts on providing practical data ethics support and guidance to researchers collecting and using data, the Centre for Applied Data Ethics will help the UK Statistics Authority to meet its strategic objectives of producing statistics for the public good to inform the UK, improve lives and build for the future….(More)”.