Data for democracy

Data democracy

Democracy relies on the quality of data in the public domain and the public’s trust in it. We believe in wider access to data for better public evidence and analysis, alongside respect for individual privacy.

The sharing of government administrative data under trusted circumstances offers public benefits, such as the development of better healthcare and the production of statistics on a more cost-effective basis. The private sector also has a role, and we advocate that the public should benefit, directly or indirectly, if their personal data is to be shared with the private sector or if the government plans to share it on their behalf.

We support technology developments that enable new data uses which can keep pace with society’s needs. But these developments can outpace politics and the law. So our support of using personal data for research is balanced with the imperative of respecting the rights of individuals, including their right to privacy. We also advocate educating the public about safeguarding personal data.

Our policy work in this area is informed by our National Statistics Advisory Group.