Data Ethics Framework

Introduction by Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to the UK’s Data Ethics Framework: “Making better use of data offers huge benefits, in helping us provide the best possible services to the people we serve.

However, all new opportunities present new challenges. The pace of technology is changing so fast that we need to make sure we are constantly adapting our codes and standards. Those of us in the public sector need to lead the way.

As we set out to develop our National Data Strategy, getting the ethics right, particularly in the delivery of public services, is critical. To do this, it is essential that we agree collective standards and ethical frameworks.

Ethics and innovation are not mutually exclusive. Thinking carefully about how we use our data can help us be better at innovating when we use it.

Our new Data Ethics Framework sets out clear principles for how data should be used in the public sector. It will help us maximise the value of data whilst also setting the highest standards for transparency and accountability when building or buying new data technology.

We have come a long way since we published the first version of the Data Science Ethical Framework. This new version focuses on the need for technology, policy and operational specialists to work together, so we can make the most of expertise from across disciplines.

We want to work with others to develop transparent standards for using new technology in the public sector, promoting innovation in a safe and ethical way.

This framework will build the confidence in public sector data use needed to underpin a strong digital economy. I am looking forward to working with all of you to put it into practice…. (More)”

The Data Ethics Framework principles

1.Start with clear user need and public benefit

2.Be aware of relevant legislation and codes of practice

3.Use data that is proportionate to the user need

4.Understand the limitations of the data

5.Ensure robust practices and work within your skillset

6.Make your work transparent and be accountable

7.Embed data use responsibly

The Data Ethics Workbook