Government publishes Independent Transparency and Privacy Review

keyboard13 September 2011

The Cabinet Office has today published an independent review of the impact of transparency on privacy, in line with an announcement made by Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude in December 2010.

The review was commissioned to inform the Government’s approach to the release of data as part of the Transparency Agenda. It was led by Dr Kieron O’Hara, a Senior Research Fellow in electronics and computer science at the University of Southampton and an expert in the fields of privacy, trust and web science.

The Government believes that open government and open data have the power to transform the way government and society work for the better, by revealing variation in society and public services; and by re-establishing individual responsibility and local accountability for public service professionals.

Francis Maude, said:

This government is leading the way internationally in opening up public data. Over the past twelve months we have begun transforming the relationship between the public and the state. We are pioneers in the field of transparency. The public can now see how government spends its money; track crime in their area street-by-street; and hold ministers to account.

"The Government is committed to ensuring that on-going releases of data are done in a way that provides maximum transparency of data while applying the appropriate data protection safeguards.

Notes for editors

1. The Cabinet Office invites comments on the Dr O’Hara’s report to be submitted to

2. Last month the Government announced a public consultation on open data, inviting members of public, businesses and other interested parties for their views on:

  • How we might enhance a ‘right to data’, establishing stronger rights for individuals, businesses and other actors to obtain data from public service providers;
  • How to set transparency standards that enforce this right to data;
  • How public service providers might be held to account for delivering open data;
  • How we might ensure collection and publication of the most useful data;
  • How we might make the internal workings of government and the public sector more open; and
  • How far there is a role for government to stimulate enterprise and market making in the use of open data.
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