News: Government looks to improve citizens lives through data sharing.
The UK government has launched a consultation for the sharing and use of data in public sector organisations.
This consultation will run for eight weeks and aims to address how data is held in public sector organisations, in addition to assessing how this data is accessed and used.
Another major aspect of this consultation is to improve data security and at the same time make people’s lives easier.
The consultation is intended to maximise the opportunities for effective data sharing while building on areas of good practice.
Minister for the Cabinet Office Matt Hancock said: "Data is the fuel for the digital revolution."
"The very best policies and services are developed around information that’s current, relevant and makes sure you can access government services just as easily as iTunes.
"There is huge potential for improving citizens’ lives through data sharing in the UK. The consultation we launch today will help make sure we get data right and bolster security whilst making people’s lives better."
The proposal can be categorised into three broad groups.
The first category is to improve public services, by allowing public agencies to share personal data with other public agencies for improving welfare of people.
The proposal also wants to give access to data of civil registrations such as birth, death and marriages. This will allow public authorities to know not to send letters to deceased people.
The second category is identifying and tracking fraud and debt.
The proposal says that the government should help citizens to to manage debt in an efficient manner to reduce loss and high cost. Citizens with debt from number of government agencies can be clubbed together and payments can be made through single window.
The UK government is expecting that this would help in cutting down an estimated £24.1bn of overdue debt which citizens currently owe to the government.
This proposal also seeks to identify fraud that results in the loss of billions of pounds to the government every year.
The third aspect is allowing personal data to be used for research purposes and official statistics.
This proposal aims to give access to the Office for National Statistics to conduct research on data collected from government and business in order to carry out research for public benefit.
The proposal says that government’s main aim is to reduce the distance between citizen and state with the use of appropriate and ethical data science techniques and data security at heart.