Data Sharing Agreements in the UK: What You Need to Know

Nowadays businesses and organisations are increasingly reliant on the collection and analysis of data. However, with data collection comes the responsibility to ensure that data is used in a responsible and ethical manner. A data sharing agreement is one tool that can help to ensure that data is being used appropriately and legally. In this article, we will explore the most important aspects to keep in mind when creating one.

Why You Need a Data Sharing Agreement

Data sharing agreements are important for businesses as they help to establish clear expectations around data sharing, protect sensitive information, and reduce legal risks.

  • They help all parties be clear about their roles and understand their responsibilities
  • Sets out the purpose of the data sharing
  • Covers what happens to the data at each stage and sets standards

What Are Data Sharing Agreements?

Data sharing agreements are legally binding contracts that are usually drawn up between data collectors and data recipients. Data sharing agreements stipulate the rights of each party in regards to the use of the data collected, who can have access to it and how it can be used.

It is important to note that not all data sharing agreements are enforceable under the law. The agreements must meet specific criteria to be legally binding. If certain clauses in the agreement are deemed illegal, then the agreement may not be enforceable under the legislation.

Key Components of A Data Sharing Agreement

If you need help creating a data sharing agreement, a free checklist can be found here

Important to Keep in Mind!

It is essential to document the relevant conditions for processing special category data, sensitive data, or criminal offence data under the UK GDPR or the DPA 2018, if the data you are sharing contains special category data or criminal offence data under the UK GDPR, or there is sensitive processing within the meaning of Part 3 of the DPA 2018. Failure to do so may result in fines imposed by the ICO or even conviction.


In summary, data sharing agreements are crucial in protecting sensitive information and maintaining trust between data collectors and recipients. It is essential to understand the legal implications of these agreements and follow the guidelines set out under the UK GDPR and DPA 2018 to avoid potential penalties.

If you want to learn more about data sharing agreements, check out this video!

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