The Information Commissioner published a statutory Code of Practice on Data Sharing on 11 May 2011. When launching the Code, the Commissioner noted that “organisations that don’t understand what can and cannot be done legally are as likely to disadvantage their clients through excessive caution as they are by carelessness”. Accordingly, the Code is aimed at improving understanding and increasing efficiency within the field of data processing. The law has not changed: this is simply a model for good practice.
The Code provides guidance on two particular types of data sharing: ‘routine’ sharing, where the same organisations frequently swap or pool information for a certain purpose, and ‘one off’ instances, which could include sharing of information in an emergency. The kind of practical tips offered by the Code hint at the broad approach that the Commissioner expects data handlers to adopt. For instance, they advise organisations that share data with each other to ensure that information is held in a standardised way and that their respective processing systems are wholly compatible. This is to ensure that data is not corrupted or inadvertently altered; a useful reminder that the Data Protection regime is not just about guarding against unauthorised leaks of information, but also about maintaining the accuracy and usefulness of data within today’s ‘information society’.
The Code also provides case studies which illustrate what organisations can and cannot do when presented with particular problems. Even those already familiar with the letter of the Act may find these useful in finding better ways to comply. The Code of Practice and the accompanying summary checklists can be found at the ICO’s website: www.ico.gov.uk.
The corporate and commercial team at Blackadders is on hand to assist those looking to re-evaluate their data protection procedures in light of the Code.
The opinions expressed in this site are of the author(s) only and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Blackadders LLP.
Blackadders takes all reasonable steps to ensure that the content of this site is accurate and up to date. The site is not, however, intended as a substitute for seeking legal or other professional advice but rather as an informative guide to the services provided by Blackadders and topical legal developments. Site visitors should always seek advice tailored to their specific situation. Consequently, Blackadders accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage suffered by anyone acting or failing to act on the basis of information contained on this site. Downloading of material contained on this site is at the user’s own risk and all necessary virus checks must first be carried out by the user. Blackadders is not responsible for the material found on any web sites linked to this one and links to this site may only be made with Blackadders prior consent.
Blackadders owns the copyright in this blog and all material contained on it. The material on this site may be downloaded for personal use only and must not be altered. Otherwise, Blackadders’ written consent is required before any material on this site is reproduced, copied or transmitted in any way.
Information passed to us via this site is kept confidential and will not be disclosed to third parties except if authorised by you or required by law.
© Blackadders LLP 2022
Members of the Law Society of Scotland.
Blackadders Solicitors is a trading name of Blackadders LLP, a limited liability partnership, registered in Scotland No SO301600 whose registered office is 30 & 34 Reform Street, Dundee, DD1 1RJ. Reference to a ‘partner’ is to a member of Blackadders LLP.