15th April 2019

Knowledge Type

Case study Data & Statistics Research paper


, Open Data Institute

Major Project


Of Interest To

Academia Consultants Contractors Leadership teams Operators Private sector clients Public sector clients SME

Data Trusts: Lessons from Three Pilots


Data trusts could be a useful way of increasing access to data while retaining trust. To realise the potential benefits of data for our societies and economies we need trustworthy data stewardship. We need to establish different approaches to deciding who should have access to data, for what purposes and to whose benefit, and make it easier for more people to adopt them. Data trusts are one approach to data stewardship.

The Open Data Institute have been researching the opportunities and challenges of developing a data trust – a legal structure that provides independent stewardship of data. They have published a data trust lifecycle and a list of recommendations for people and organisations funding them, exploring them, or requesting access to them.

In 2018, the ODI joined forces with the Office for Artificial Intelligence and Innovate UK to assess data trusts as a potential approach to increasing trust and access to data. This followed the 2017 Independent review of AI for the UK government, which recommended the exploration of data trusts.