Yet more public views on data sharing

At the end of May, Ipsos MORI published the results of a poll conducted for the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust on public views on privacy and data sharing. The poll focused particularly on the collection and use of personal data for security purposes, but includes a number of findings with broader relevance. Ipsos MORI, for example, report that:

“There is little appetite for data sharing among Government bodies, with 63% disagreeing that if a government department or other public body holds some data about you, other government departments and public bodies should have access to that information, and less than a fifth (18%) agreeing.

Similarly, just under half (45%) say that the government should never be allowed to share data they have about you with private companies, with around a quarter (26%) saying they should do this only if you opt in to data sharing and one in eight (12%) that they should be allowed to do so as long as you do not opt out.

The public are even less likely to want to see the government selling personal data to private companies, with 67% saying this should never be the case.

There is also opposition to the government and private companies storing and processing data outside of the UK, with 69% saying that they would oppose the Government doing this and 77% saying that private companies should not store or process data outside of the UK.”

These findings correspond with the findings of other studies that:

  • The public tend to reject cases made for data sharing in general terms, but tend to be more supportive of cases made in specific terms (e.g. particular use cases with tangible public benefits).
  • The public are opposed to the sharing of their personal data for commercial gain, but tend to be significantly more accepting of data sharing for personal or public benefit.
  • The public are very concerned about data security, and need to be able to trust that their personal data will be collected, stored and processed in a safe and secure way.

Find out more about the Ipsos MORI poll here:

See a review (conducted for Sciencewise) of the current research into public views on data and privacy here:

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Tim Hughes

About Tim Hughes

Tim is Involve's incoming director, taking over from 21st January 2017. Tim has led campaigns and advocacy on open government; advised national, devolved and local governments, civil society organisations and multilateral institutions; and researched and written on topics including public participation, open government, democratic reform, civil society advocacy and public administration.

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