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Public Acceptability of Data Sharing Between the Public, Private and Third Sectors for Research Purposes

Davidson, S   McLean, C   Treanor, S   Aitken, M   Cunningham-Burley, S   Laurie, G   Pagliari, C   Sethi, N

October 2013

The Scottish Government Social Research series

In spring 2013 the Government commissioned Ipsos MORI Scotland, along with Dr Mhairi Aitken, Professor Sarah Cunningham-Burley, Professor Graeme Laurie, Dr Claudia Pagliari and Nayha Sethi from the University of Edinburgh, to conduct research to enhance understanding of sensitivities around data sharing between the public, private and third sectors for statistical and research purposes. Specific objectives of the research were to establish: whether and how attitudes and sensitivities varied depending on the sectors and specific type of organisation involved in data sharing, the type of data being shared and the planned uses of the data; whether the public think about ‘public benefit’ differently in relation to the private and third sector’s use of personal data compared to the public sector’s; what methods of benefit-sharing are most acceptable to the public; and what methods could be most effective in empowering citizens in decision making about how their data are used.