The Open Data Institute (ODI) says data trust pilots highlight potential

Apr 15, 2019 · Data trusts could be a useful way of increasing access to data while retaining trust, our latest report finds

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The Open Data Institute (ODI) has said early research has highlighted the potential of data trusts to provide a good approach to data sharing in the use of technology.

It has published the results of its first round of pilots with a claim there is a big demand from public, private and third sector organisations to explore the possibilities as they are eager to find acceptable ways of sharing data. The mechanism could help to build public trust through the legally binding responsibilities of the trustees.

But they would also need robust governance that balances accountability to users with effective, timely decision making.

The data trust programme, which has received financial backing from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the support of the Office of Artificial Intelligence, is exploring the potential of the trusts as legal structures to provide independent stewardship of data. This could provide a route to resolving some of the ethical issues around the use of data in new technologies.

The ODI pilots covered: data from electric vehicle parking spaces and domestic heating sensors in Greenwich; the possible creation of a data trust focused on food waste and sales; and the Wildlabs Tech Hub to tackle the illegal trade in wildlife.

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