UK: ICO opens consulatation on draft data sharing code

The Information Commissioner’s office in the UK announced on Friday that it was opening a consultation period on the first UK code of practice on data sharing. The 40 page code details good practice for organizations in private, public and third party organisations. There are five main topics, including when to inform an individual that their information is being shared, how to decide when sharing is acceptable, and necessary security measures.

In an ICO press release, Information Commissioner Christopher Graham remarked: ““Under the right circumstances and for the right reasons, data sharing across and between organisations can play a crucial role in providing a better, more efficient service to customers in a range of sectors – both public and private. But citizens’ and consumers’ rights under the Data Protection Act must be respected.” The ICO has invited organizations that handle personal data to offer their commentary.

Any portions of the  code which are more demanding than the requirements of the Data Protection Act will not  be legally binding.The consultation period will last for 12 weeks, ending on 5 January 2011.