Government gets new powers to increase data sharing

The government is preparing a new law that will enable it to share more data.

The government is preparing a new law that will enable it to share more data.

The government has plans to introduce a fast-track procedure to remove legal barriers to data sharing where, it says, "there is a genuine case".

The government said, "We intend to bring forward legislation to confer upon the Secretary of State a power to permit or require the sharing of personal information between particular persons or bodies, so long as a robust case can be made to use that power."

The secretary of state will be able to repeal or amend existing laws that stand in the way of data sharing, or create a new power to share information where that power is currently absent.

The government was responding to the Data Sharing Review that was written by the Information Commissioner Richard Thomas and Mark Walport of the Wellcome Trust.

They recommended a fast-track procedure be created, and the recommendation was agreed with.

The response, published by the Ministry of Justice, said, "The sharing of personal data between government departments in a secure and appropriate manner is essential to protect the public and to deliver public services.

"The ability of government to share data performs a crucial role in, among other things, protecting children and other vulnerable groups and individuals, protecting individuals against crime and disorder, and improving health and education provision."

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