Unlocking the Value of Public Sector Data for Public Benefit


The aim of this programme is to unlock the value of Scotland’s public sector personal data via its use with or by the private sector, for public benefit.

Adopting a citizen-led approach, an Independent Expert Group (IEG) will oversee this programme of work, supported by a Practitioner Forum, comprising a range of expertise.

Public engagement will be a key component in shaping the development of high-level principles and a framework of guidance to aid ethical decision-making by data controllers.


Ethics and the protection of privacy are the guiding principles for this programme. Scotland’s public sector personal data use must not only be legally compliant, but must command the trust and confidence of the public. The direct engagement of citizens in shaping this programme will therefore be key to realising greater public benefit through the sharing of personal data safely and securely.

This programme has been driven by feedback from stakeholders. Despite rigorous information governance processes ensuring that data is processed legally, data controllers still reported significant anxiety around the release of, or provision of access to, public sector personal data for use with or by the private sector. There was a consensus that a set of high-level principles and a framework of guidance would aid their decision-making in this area.

This programme supports the Scottish Government’s commitment to improving outcomes through the ethical and innovative use of data, as enshrined in our National Digital and AI strategies

Read the group's terms of reference.



The following blog posts document the progress being made in delivering the programme:


  • Angela Daly, University of Dundee (Chair)
  • Annie Sorbie, University of Edinburgh
  • Ruchir Shah, Open Government and Civil Society Activist
  • Esperanza Miyake, University of Strathclyde
  • James Stevenson, Duo Verre Partnership LLP
  • Colin Birchenall, Digital Office , Scottish Local Government
  • Charlie Mayor, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Carol Young, Deputy Director of the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights
  • Alexander Weir, Canon Medical Research Europe Ltd.
  • Ronnie Kelly, Fujitsu UK 


Back to top