November 2021 DEC meeting
The Essex Data Ethics Committee (DEC) met once again on Wednesday 3 November 2021.
Chaired by Martine Clark, the Committee welcomed two new members, Anton Beer and Iain Birtwell, both residents of Essex. The Data Ethics Committee now has 12 members and recruitment for citizens of Essex to join the panel remains open.
Zenith McIntyre-Allen, Senior Analyst, Essex County Council, and ecda Project lead presented details of ecda's proposed research project, Information Sharing to Tackle Violence (ISTV). Following discussion, the DEC agreed that this research project is clearly acting in the public interest. The DEC said: "We are supportive of the ISTV project proceeding and will be interested to see the outcomes of the analysis in the longer term."
The DEC would particularly encourage the project team to focus on transparency and using case studies from previous similar projects (mainly the work by the Cardiff Violence Prevention Programme) to explain the methodology and benefits to the public. DEC offers its support in providing feedback on draft public communications.
The discussion reflected that there will be data quality challenges in capturing accurate, and complete, records in the operational environments included in the report. However, the committee did not think these challenges were insurmountable, or of significant concern to overcome the clear benefit of the work. They particularly praised the project’s early analysis and treatment of potential ethical concerns.
An updated version of the draft ecda Data Charter was shared with the group, significantly simplified following feedback from the DEC and broader ecda. Members are asked to provide final comments by close of play on Friday, 12th November.
Martine Clark (Chair)
Iain Birtwell (new member)
Anton Beer (new member)
David Caplan (Head of ecda)
Zenith McIntyre-Allen (Senior Analyst, Essex County Council)
Nicki Mallet (Head of Profession Data & Analytics, Essex County Council)
Duncan Taylor (Capability Lead, ecda)
Jennifer Housego (Digital Ethics lead, ecda)