A Scotland-wide Data Linkage Framework for Statistics and Research: Consultation Paper on the Aims and Guiding Principles

The main purpose of this consultation is to seek views on the aims of the Data Linkage Framework and a draft set of guiding principles.

4. Summary and Next Steps

It is in the public interest both to safeguard individual's right to privacy and to make efficient use of data for statistical and research purposes.

The Data Linkage Framework aims to help everyone involved in data linkage to balance these values; to provide the public with assurance that personal data is being used safely and appropriately; and to provide data owners with assurance that data can be shared when the appropriate safeguards are in place.

The framework does not at this stage require any changes to legislation, and the requirement for all data linkage to be conducted within the law will continue to be emphasised at every stage. It does not remove, or seek to remove, the responsibility of data custodians or the need for Privacy Impact Assessments of any intended data linkage project.

The purpose of this consultation paper is to gather views on the aims and the guiding principles of a data linkage framework. Written responses will be considered alongside:

  • Results from first phase research into public acceptability of cross-sectoral data linkages
  • Issues raised at meetings, workshops and seminars that are underway
  • Recommendations from the UK wide Administrative Data Task Force.

Responses to this consultation paper are invited by Friday 15 June 2012.
A report will be published in August 2012, and, providing there is broad agreement, work will continue to develop the details of the National Data Linkage Centre and Privacy Advisory Service. This will be done collaboratively with key stakeholders and there will be further opportunity to provide comments before final decisions are made.


Email: Andrew Paterson

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