The government will establish a data science ethics council at the Alan Turing Institute after a recommendation by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee earlier this year.
The recommendation was contained in a report into the government's use of big data, released in February, and is designed to overcome "public distrust over data sharing".
"The government should establish a Council for Data Science Ethics in the Alan Turing Institute as a way to address the growing legal and ethical challenges associated with balancing privacy, anonymisation, security and public benefit," the report said.
In response, the government accepted the need for such a body and will work out how best to incorporate it into the Institute.
"The government agrees with the committee's proposal for independent oversight and will consider how a Council for Data Science Ethics should be established," the committee said in a document entitled The big data dilemma (PDF).
"This body would address key ethical challenges for data science and provide technical research and thought leadership on the implications of data science across all sectors.
"The Alan Turing Institute is well placed to play a leading role and to be a convening power. Clarifying and providing guidance on ethical, legal and technical issues will allow data science to develop more quickly and appropriately, giving the UK an opportunity to gain a global advantage."
The Cabinet Office will develop the framework for government data science and publish it "in the next few months".
Given that the Alan Turing Institute has signed a deal to share data with GCHQ the move to include ethical oversight of how data is used at the facility will no doubt please privacy and human rights campaigners.
The Alan Turing Institute was founded in 2015 to drive advances in computer science, mathematics, statistics and systems engineering.
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