Sharing data can make life easier, but only when done correctly. For example, do you know when you can legally share personal data? Or what the difference between a data sharing agreement and a data processing agreement is?
If you answered ‘no’, don’t worry. Help is at hand. You’ll find answers to these questions and more on our new Data Sharing web page.
University staff need to share data for many reasons and in widely different circumstances – for example as part of a planned research project, or disclosures made in life or death situations. Too often data protection is blamed for hindering such sharing when in fact, it is designed to protect individuals as well as those sharing information.
It does this by providing fair, and well defined regulations stating when and how information sharing and personal data handling can take place.
Where regular information sharing takes place, the University often enters into formal Data Sharing Agreements in order to protect our staff, students, and the organisation. Most commonly, these are in place with our partner organisations and formalise what can be shared and the manner in which this should occur.
Similarly, when we contract a supplier to do work for us, University staff must make sure there is a contract and/or Data Processing Agreement in place. The supplier will then be bound by contractual terms only to undertake work as instructed and to ensure the required safeguards are in place.
Our new web page should be your first port of call if you are involved in data sharing. However, as always, if you have any questions about the published guidance or want more information, please contact the Information Governance Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Information Governance Team