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Ethics and security

Data we use will come from different sources across the public and private sectors, from datasets with low security requirements (transport data, for example) up to more sensitive data (such as personal data).

Highly sensitive data will be strictly controlled and stripped of identifiable information before it is used. We already have experience of this through the National Data Safe Haven which we have operated for NHS Scotland since 2014.

Data Protection Officers at the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt University can provide information about privacy impact assessments and are a point of contact for enquiries relating to personal data.

The secure storage and ethical use of data is a primary focus for us

We’ll be analysing data provided to us with permission for research aimed at finding solutions to industry and societal challenges.

All of our research proposals go through an ethical review if they involve data about people.

These reviews will be carried out by ethics committees within the University of Edinburgh or Heriot-Watt University and overseen by national bodies wherever possible (for example the Public Benefit and Privacy Panel for health and social care data).

We will also carry out privacy impact assessments (PIAs) for research projects that involve data about people. PIAs are used to make clear why data is being used and how it is regulated. They identify risks to individuals and suggest measures to reduce those risks.