Cabinet Office Data Ethics Workshop

The EMPOWER project recently held a workshop in collaboration with the Cabinet Office. The aim of the workshop was to review and consider real-world applications of the ethical frameworks to be used in the generation, processing and analysis of new and emerging data types including data generated using new technology such as mobile apps and social media.

The workshop included a topical and highly relevant overview of the Cabinet Office Data Ethical Framework, which is due to be published very soon.  This was road-tested in light of the new General Data Protection Regulation against a range of user needs. This gave a useful insight into governmental cross-party concern and co-ordination of approach to this issue, especially in the light of recent ‘Cambridge Analytica’ events. One key aim of the new ethical framework is to help increase public trust in the government and collaboration between data stakeholders. Overall it seems the framework is geared at government/local authority use, though the framework will still be relevant for researchers and data scientists.

The workshop also reviewed a new ethics tool produced by the EMPOWER project as part of the EMPOWER toolkit. The ethics tool, which can be viewed here, was presented clearly with an open discussion on the ‘test your knowledge’ sections.

There were productive group discussions around the reasons for holding data, the meaning of consent, anonymization/pseudo-anonymization and the ability to identify, potential future uses of data, research council mandates to retain and make available data underpinning publications, and post-Brexit legislation equivalent to EU.

Attendees had an opportunity to review how they currently use data in their own work and learned practical skills for ethical data management.

 

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