By Jenni Tennison,
Earlier in the year, I went to an OECD workshop on enhanced access to data. The workshop covered four general themes: open data, data sharing communities, data marketplaces and data portability. The discussion on the implications of data portability was particularly interesting.
Data portability is a new right under the EU-level General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) due to come into force in May 2018 and a version of which will be written into UK law through the Data Protection Bill currently going through parliament.
The data portability right is a version of the existing data access right (which gives you the right to get hold of data about you held by an organization). It is both more powerful, in that it gives you the right to have that data given to you or a third party of your choice in a commonly used machine-readable format, and has a narrower scope in that it doesn’t apply to everything the organization captures about you. It only applies to data captured automatically, and when it is either explicitly provided by you (eg when you fill in a form on a website) or generated as part of your activity (eg the records of your bank transactions). It does not apply to data that is inferred about you based on this data (eg if they’ve guessed that you’re gay or pregnant) or that they’ve got about you from other sources (eg your credit rating).