September was a busy month for the ORG staff, with our party conference roadshow, so a lack of resources precluded our responding to this consultation. Instead we focussed on these other consultations:
The closing date for comments is 1 October 2007.
The Information Commissioner’s Office, in response to a large number of queries from local authorities, the police and others about information sharing, is producing a framework code of practice for sharing personal information. Decision-makers and those working ‘on the ground’ are often unclear on the application of data protection regulations in this context, which results in uncertainty and a lack of confidence in decision-making.
The framework code will help organisations involved in information sharing develop their own codes of practice and other materials to make sure their activities constitute good practice in the handling of personal information.
The framework code is ‘lite’ – the current draft is just 18 pages long. However, it’s comprehensive and practical and aims to offer real assistance to organisations involved in information sharing.
It deals with a number of distinct issues:
• Deciding to share personal information • Fairness and transparency • Information standards • Retention of shared information • Security of shared information • Access to personal information • Freedom of Information
In policy terms, the most significant parts of the code concern access to shared information held by one or more organisation and the related issues of data standards and security. For example, the ICO suggest it’s good practice for organisations who share our information to provide public access via a single portal to all the information held, rather than asking them to make separate requests to the various organisations.
The ICO is publicly consulting on the framework code in order to give those involved in, or affected by, information sharing an opportunity to comment on their work.
Views on the consultation document should be expressed to the Data Protection Development Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org) via the comments sheet. The ICO will then consider our comments before the final revised version is published later in the year. Please circulate this call for input to any contacts you have with an interest in information sharing.