Data Ethics Case Study Library

What is it?

LOTI have collected a range of case studies from different government organisations, both local, national and international, detailing different approaches to data ethics.

Why did we create it?

LOTI boroughs recognise that the data they collect and hold is one of their most valuable assets. Whilst this data can and will be used to improve residents’ lives, there are also risks of it not being used correctly. Beyond legal constraints, there are also ethical questions about how residents’ data should be used, and what processes and systems are needed to ensure organisations have a good data ethics practice.

These case studies map some of the practices that have emerged in the public sector in response to this challenge. As this is a new ethics domain for public sector across the world, we are still seeking to establish what exactly best practice is, and would look like in London. These case studies provide the foundation for our analysis and the subsequent support that we will deliver for LOTI boroughs as part of our ongoing data ethics investigation.

Who should use it?

Local authorities and other public sector organisations interested in learning about different approaches to data ethics, with an interest in setting up their own data ethics processes.  


Case Studies:

Amsterdam’s Algorithm Register
Amsterdam have created an Algorithm Register to provide transparency in a standard format about how data is being used in public services, along with a host of other complementary initiatives to be truly an ethical municipal authority.

Brent Council’s Data Ethics Governance Board
Brent created a Data Ethics Board with the help of LOTI, which serves to provide the borough with advice from data ethics experts to guide their data projects in their ethical considerations.

Essex Council’s Essex Centre for Data Ethics (ECDA)
Essex created a Centre for Data Ethics to serve as an independent and advisory ethics board.

Camden Council’s Data Charter
Camden residents created a Data Charter for the borough, with a set of principles and recommendations for the Borough to adopt to ensure a transparent, accountable ethics practice on data.

The Metropolitan Police Service is working to build public trust through transparency
The Metropolitan Police Service’s ambition is to develop a data ethics framework that is embedded in the organisational culture, and supports its work to build public trust and confidence through transparency in its decision making.

The National Health Service (NHS) is trialling Algorithmic Impact Assessments
The NHS will be trialling an Algorithmic Impact Assessment (AIA) to ensure that those who seek to use its data to train their artificial intelligence applications are open about the design of their algorithms and what impact they will have on research outcomes. 

Police Scotland is exploring how to institutionalise using data for public good
Amongst various initiatives being explored by Police Scotland are publishing a Data Ethics Strategy and associated framework, integrating into the role of senior leaders, establishing a Scrutiny Group and embedding it into project management processes.

Transport for London (TfL) incorporate Ethics into their Data Privacy Impact Asessments (DPIAs)
TfL have mirrored the Open Data Institute’s Data Ethics Canvas in its DPIA process. Each of the 15 elements of the Canvas are reflected in the DPIA so that privacy and ethics are as one.

Is this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!
Skip to content

Join the LOTI conversation

Sign up for our monthly newsletter to get the latest news and updates