How Should Data Trusts Protect and Share Information? Comment on a Draft Standard

The CIO Strategy Council is inviting comments from the public on a proposed new national standard governing how institutions managing data trusts should care for information that is used or share with others.

What Is a Data Trust?

Many emerging technologies will be useful only if they have access to large stores of information. In many cases, ownership of this data is not clear cut, and it is in the broader interest for it to be held as a common good for multiple organizations to use. This is often the case for smart city technologies that monitor public places, such road use or foot traffic patterns, or for public health information. Data trusts, and related entities like data banks and collaboratives, are being created to hold this information and share access to it in a controlled way.

What’s in the Draft Standard

The standard sets out requirements for good data stewardship. This covers how organizations should protect the data they hold, collaborate with others, and help to put the insights generated from the data to good use.

The standard specifies what systems of management and accountability organizations should have in place and how they should engage with the public to ensure they are behaving transparently.

Why It Matters

Data institutions are being discussed widely and are increasingly being seen as mechanisms to unlock the value of data. A common national standard will help ensure that these organizations control the data they hold in a responsible way.

“The new standard would define the role of data stewards and provide guidance on what organizations should do when they share the data that they collect with external people and organizations,” said Alison Paprica, an assistant professor who researches data governance and health policy at the University of Toronto. “As a member of the technical committee for the new data stewardship standard, I encourage everyone to review the draft document and share their feedback to help us strengthen this voluntary standard.”

Weigh In

The Council welcomes comments on the proposed draft by Nov. 29. Comment on the draft now.

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