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Report: Involve IT experts in releasing gov datasets

The Register - A review (84-page/927KB PDF) of information transparency and privacy commissioned by the Cabinet Office has concluded that IT experts should help decide whether to release datasets and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) should have a greater technical awareness.

The review was led by Dr Kieron O'Hara, senior research fellow in electronics and computer science at the University of Southampton. In his report, O'Hara says the involvement of technology experts in a procedure for pre-release screening of data to ensure respect for privacy should be decided on a case-by-case basis. The procedure would include screening of user requests, consideration of potential privacy threats and the maintenance of a data asset register.

The register should set out which data sets were controlled, what they contain, and what decisions have been taken about their release, O'Hara proposes. It could be centrally curated, or kept by individual departments and agencies.