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Saturday, 9th August 2014

UK: HSCIC Data Pseudonymisation Review Interim Report

Source: Health and Social Care Information Centre (UK)

From Context:

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) is responsible for collecting, transporting, storing, analysing and disseminating England’s health and social care data.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 gives the HSCIC statutory powers to collect identifiable data without data subject consent, including requesting data controllers to supply such data, when directed to do so by Secretary of State, NHS England, National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), Monitor or Care Quality Commission.

The HSCIC, as data controller for the collected identifiable data, has a responsibility to ensure compliance with both the common law duty of confidentiality and also the eight principles of the Data Protection Act (DPA) including protecting the subjects of that data from inappropriate identification.

In accordance with the DPA principles, the HSCIC has a duty to minimise its collection, processing, holding and dissemination of identifiable data to that essential for purposes it is to serve - the LEAST principle.

The Caldicott 2 report emphasises the importance of both sharing data and protecting privacy. Caldicott2 (p66) also recommended that “there should be an evaluation of the benefits, costs, risks and management issues of adopting a system or systems of pseudonymisation at source”

Having due regard to this background, the HSCIC commissioned a review to understand better the role that pseudonymisation should play in its use of health and care data.

+ Direct link to Review (PDF; 590 KB)


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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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