GDS revises Technology Code of Practice

New version includes new points on data and GDPR along with a restructure aimed at providing greater clarity

The Government Digital Service (GDS) has added guidance on the use of data and the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in an updated version of the Technology Code of Practice.

Detail of computer keyboardIt published the new version this week, saying that it has added more detail and attempted to make the code – the criteria to help government bodies design, build and buy better technology – simpler for users.

The points on data emphasise the need to minimise its collection and duplication, and include ensuring it can be accessible to APIs, that it conforms to common standards and patterns, and is shared for achieving a specific purpose.

This comes with references to other sources of guidance including those from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Data Science Ethical Framework.

The guidance on the GDPR incorporates that from the ICO, including privacy impact assessments and a self-assessment questionnaire.

Plain as possible

GDS said the code has been restructured, using language as plain as possible, to make it easier for users; and that it has been clearer to how to use it in the spend control process.

“We hope this will prevent it from being a tick-box exercise,” said John Strudwick, deputy director, technology, architecture and standards at GDS.

While it has kept all the previous points, it has merged some, such as in incorporating the Greening ICT Strategy into the others.

“The updates we’ve just made allow continuous iteration, and we expect that the Code of Practice will constantly evolve, and keep up when technology changes,” Strudwick said.

Image: Joseph L Ridgway II, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons