The Scottish Government is working with a wide range of partners to establish a collaborative strategic framework that will facilitate cross-sectoral data linkages for research and statistical purposes. In March 2012, it published the consultation document, A Scotland-wide Data Linkage Framework for Statistics and Research (Scottish Government 2012), which sets out its proposed strategy and a set of ‘Guiding Principles’ for linkage.
In parallel with, and to supplement the findings of, the consultation, the Government had a number of meetings and discussions with stakeholders. It also commissioned Ipsos MORI Scotland, along with Professor Sarah Cunningham-Burley and Dr Claudia Pagliari from the Centre for Population Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, to undertake a series of public deliberative events. This report presents the findings of the events.
The overall aim of the events was to explore the views of the public on the acceptability of linking personal data for statistical and research purposes, thereby identifying particular sensitivities and potential barriers to public confidence and exploring mechanisms for overcoming concerns.