The draft data sharing code of practice consultation, was launched on 16th July 2019 by the Information Commissioners Office (the “ICO”) and comes just one year after the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and Data Protection Act (“DPA”) entered into force.
What is the code?
The original 2011 data sharing code of practice was published with the aim of providing organisations with practical advice in situations where personal data is being shared. It offered an explanation of the law, and good practices to assist organisations. The code is aimed at ensuring compliance with legal obligations and it is taken into account by both the ICO and the courts in court proceedings in assessing compliance.
Given, however, the arrival of the GDPR and DPA in 2018, the data sharing code needs to be modernised to take into account the aspects of the new legislation and the ICO is required pursuant to section 121 of the DPA to issue a new one. The consultation is ongoing and will close in September 2019.
What will the updated draft code offer?
The draft code (currently 105 pages in length) seeks to address recent changes to data protection law in the context of data sharing. This includes issues such as transparency, lawful bases for processing, the new accountability principle, list sharing and the requirement to record processing activities.
Further, it makes reference to provisions included within the Digital Economy Act 2017, namely:
- Data sharing in relation to children;
- Data sharing in emergencies; and
- Ethical considerations surrounding data sharing.
The ICO hopes that this will also help promote data sharing across the public sector.
Given that the code has not been amended since 2011, organisations will welcome an updated draft code that advises on the changes to data protection legislation that are directly relevant to the sharing of data. Organisations will benefit from an updated code by being able to make appropriate decisions when both sharing data and managing the associated risks. More information about the consultation can be found on the ICO website here.