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Electronic Government: Data Protection

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN 291345, tabled on 26 September 2019

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will (a) publish the memorandum of understanding between the Government Digital Service and Government departments on data ethics and compliance that enables cross tracking of Gov.UK, (b) state which Departments and non-departmental bodies the MOU was sent to and (c) set out the departments and non-departmental public bodies that have agreed the MOU.

Answered on

1 October 2019

The Government Digital Service (GDS) is implementing end-to-end performance monitoring so that GOV.UK can be designed to ensure that people can access the information and services they need as easily as possible. Government departments are enabling GDS to centrally collect data on site usage across the GOV.UK estate, to provide an end to end, anonymised view of how people interact with government online. In developing this project, we have taken into account both the data protection regime and other guidance like the Government’s Data Ethics Framework.

We are using clear and robust Memorandums of Understanding to set out the terms of the project. The MOUs outline the responsibilities of both the GDS and departments in a number of areas, including handling the relevant data to ensure there is no unauthorised access, loss, misuse, modification or disclosure.

The MoUs were sent to the following departments: the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Department for Education (DfE), the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU), the Department for Transport (DfT), the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Home Office, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), HM Treasury (HMT), the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), the Department for International Trade (DfID), the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Cabinet Office (CO) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). We have received signed MOUs from all Departments apart from FCO, CO, DWP and DCMS as we are still working through some points of detail, to facilitate their response.

The MoUs will be regularly updated in line with the government’s commitment to continuous improvement in digital services and best practice in data and privacy standards. It is a long standing policy of the Government Digital Service to operate in the spirit of full transparency, and we plan to publish the document in due course.

Answered by

Cabinet Office
Named day
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