Data Harvesting

Are you seeking approval to collect personal data? Are you lacking the resources or know-how to harvest sensitive information in a private and ethical fashion?

Harvesting and linking data privately and ethically

Remember the HMRC debacle that spawned hundreds of data breach announcements? The irony of that case was the receiving party didn’t actually need all those records to be in a personally identifiable format. Pseudonymised data could’ve been supplied but there was no affordable mechanism in place to de-identify the data.

Whether you are a research organisation working with particularly sensitive data or commercial supplier collecting and working with patient data on behalf of your NHS client, you should be concerned about collecting “too much information”.

Sapior offers:

  • Harvesting/linking service of sensitive data – safe harvesting by removing strongest identifiers at the data source in consistent way that allows linking with other sources
  • Cleansing and de-duplication needed for successful linkage
  • De-identification appliance – for frequent users, we offer a “safe enclave” which can be hosted at the site of your choice where pseudonyms are used throughout to distinguish and link, automated mechanism to re-identify when necessary by permission

ECC Approval (formerly PIAG)

Designed in conjunction with St. George’s University of London, our Secure & Private Record Linkage (SAPReL) service pseudonymises sensitive data at the source in a way that still permits linking with other sources.

Patient Information Advisory Group (PIAG – now NIGB ECC), the statutory body that permits access to patient information without consent, described SAPReL as “highly commendable”. Read more…

If you are working with especially sensitive data such as mental or sexual health data or children’s data, find out how we can help you qualify for fast-track approval from the National Information Governance Board (NIGB) Ethics & Confidentiality Committee (ECC) for access patient data under section 251 of the NHS Act 2006.

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