The Data Charter

We have developed a Data Charter to guide how we collect, process and share data ethically in Camden.

Camden Council's Data Charter (PDF)

We believe that data rights are human rights. We make extensive use of a wide range of data to improve residents' experiences with council services.

We recognise there are challenges in ensuring trust in organisations that use people’s personal information, and the possibilities can be misunderstood. In the spirit of transparency, we are determined to show how a public organisation can lead the way and act as a responsible custodian of data.

Data Charter principles

The principles of the Data Charter are:

1. Build trust through transparency
2. Provide accountability and oversight
3. Make sure data is secure, safe and ethical
4. Make sure data is used for public good and be mindful of residents' data
5. Be beneficial for all by using an outcomes-based approach
6. Be clear about how we use residents' data
7. Protect individuals' rights and privacy

For more information about the principles, as well as the vision, governance and success criteria, read the full Data Charter.

We developed the Data Charter in collaboration with residents, community groups and partner organisations.

We have made a set of commitments in response to the Data Charter

The Data Charter is a call to action to all organisations in the borough – we need to work together to have the biggest impact on building trust in data sharing.

If you have any questions about the Data Charter or data use in Camden, email CamdensDataCharter@camden.gov.uk

Please check back for further opportunities to have your say about the Data Charter and data in Camden. 

Our commitments to the Data Charter

We have made a set of commitments to the Data Charter:

Commitments to be met by next Resident Panel

  • The Data Charter will be put forward to Cabinet to agree in January 2022.
  • We will create a Data Sharing Register to publish all data sharing agreements (subject only to the need to redact or occasionally to withhold publication to protect third party personal data and commercially confidential information). We commit to meeting this pledge by February 2022.
  • We will publish all Data Privacy Impact Assessments (subject only to the need to redact or occasionally to withhold publication to protect third party personal data and commercially confidential information), which all proposed uses of data must go through and include an ethical assessment. We commit to meeting this pledge by June 2022.
  • We commit to creating an area on opendata.camden.gov.uk to publish the number of complaints received about data protection and data breaches, to show the number over time. We aim to reduce the number of complaints submitted by residents relating to data in the annual period between Resident Panels. We commit to publishing the number of complaints by April 2022.

Long-term or ongoing commitments

  • We will create the post of Chief Data Officer, which will be responsible for improving how we use data and making sure there is a focus on ethical, transparent, and socially responsible practices. As part of this we will also oversee the adoption of and adherence to the Data Charter across the Council.
  • We commit to identifying individuals who will be responsible for ensuring the Data Charter is adopted across the Council and responding to public queries about the Data Charter. Various channels will be created for residents to get in touch to make enquiries. We commit to meeting this pledge by April 2022.
  • We commit to publishing accessible materials to familiarise residents with the different ways we use data. We commit to publishing more case studies annually. We commit to holding a Resident Panel annually to make sure data enabled projects to have adhered to the Data Charter and provide comment or challenge. We commit to holding the next Resident Panel by the end of 2022.
  • We commit to encouraging partners and other organisations across the public and private sectors in Camden to pledge to the principles of the Data Charter. The Data Charter is a call to action to all organisations in the borough – we need to work together to have the biggest impact on building trust in data sharing.

How we use data

As part of our commitments to the Data Charter, we will publish real-life examples of how we use data to make sure how we use data held about residents is open, understandable and inclusive. The case studies will be regularly updated and residents can share their views on them.

Data use case studies

Developing the Data Charter

We developed the Data Charter in collaboration with residents, community groups and partner organisations in Camden.

Key partners were Involve, the UK’s leading public participation charity, and The Alan Turing Institute, the national institute for data science and artificial intelligence. The Wellcome Trust, a research charity with a mission to improve health, helped to fund the project.

In the first phase we invited residents to comment on our data use case studies. We also held discussions with community groups and one-on-one interviews with residents.

We then recruited a Resident Panel representative of Camden’s communities, according to 2011 census demographics. We held three day-long sessions with resident panellists to introduce data and how data is currently used in Camden and look at the opportunities and challenges in sharing data.

Speakers included representatives from:

We have committed to holding a Resident Panel annually. Check back for details of future opportunities to get involved in this work.