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The i-sense Q&A: Data sharing and privacy during a pandemic

Home > I Sense Qa Data Sharing and Privacy During Pandemic

This new i-sense virtual Q&A series highlights topics related infectious disease outbreaks preparedness and response – focusing on what we have learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic, what we need to do to ensure we are ready to respond to the next infectious disease outbreak, and how can we better protect our population and healthcare systems now and in the future.

Each month we will explore different themes related to developing tools and technologies to track, test and treat infectious diseases. As preparing for and responding to an outbreak is a collaborative effort, we’ll gain perspective from experts in academia, government and policy, healthcare, and industry.

Below is the recording from the first in our Q&A series, which explored the topic of 'Data sharing and privacy during a pandemic'.

Event information for Q&A session (19 August 2020)

Topic: Data sharing and privacy during a pandemic

We will cover questions on how to share data in a privacy preserving and ethical manner, particularly when working at the fast pace required during a developing pandemic, how COVID-19 has made us reassess what is needed in terms of standards and policy around data sharing and access to datasets, what value data sharing adds to pandemic response and the barriers to data access, and more.


Wednesday, 19 August 2020

13.30 – 14.15 BST

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**Please note this event will be recorded and place on i-sense public facing communications platforms. By joining you are agreeing to the event being recorded.**

See instructions for joining below. 

Our panel members

Jess Morley
Policy Lead, DataLab

Jess is Policy Lead for University of Oxford's DataLab and a researcher in the Oxford Internet Institute's Digital Ethics Lab. Previously Jess was AI subject matter expert at NHSX. 

Richard Welpton
Senior Data Manager, the Health Foundation

Richard supports analysts at the Health Foundation by acquiring access to sources of (pseudo)anonymised patient data, ensuring that data governance processes are followed, and identifying new data linkages to discover insights into quality of care. In 2007, Richard joined the Office for National Statistics’ Virtual Microdata Laboratory. Since then, Richard has been involved in setting up and managing a number of data infrastructure projects in the UK and in Europe, including at the UK Data Service and Cancer Research UK.

Richard has written a number of articles about data access and data privacy, including how to ensure research findings do not breach patient data confidentiality.

Boris Wojtan
Director of Privacy, GSMA

Boris is the Director of Privacy at GSMA, the global industry association that helps shape the future of the mobile industry. In his role, Boris seeks to lead public debate around privacy in mobile and to help global membership deliver long-term benefits for mobile users. He is a firm believer in the value of data privacy leadership: organisations can go digital, innovate and grow and at the same time foster consumer privacy and trust.

How the Q&A will work

  • It’s free to join and open to everyone
  • We’ll be taking questions in the Microsoft Teams chat, or you can submit questions in advance to (let me know if you would like to be name as the person asking the question and who you would like to direct the question to)
  • The Q&A will run strictly to time, but we will try get to as many questions as possible in that time

Up next

This series will explore a different topic each month. On Wednesday, 16 September 2020, we will explore the topic ‘Diagnostic testing: lessons learned from a pandemic’ with our panel members Prof Rosanna Peeling, Professor and Chair of Diagnostics Research at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Dr Jim Huggett, Principal Scientist, National Measurement Laboratory. 

Get involved 

If you have suggestions of topics you would like to explore in the future or questions you want answers, email them to

Instructions to join the virtual event

This event is hosted in a Microsoft Teams meeting by i-sense at UCL.

Please ensure that you have the Microsoft Teams App installed. If you already use Teams, sign in to the Teams App using the credentials issued by your host university, business or other provider. If you do not have the Teams App installed, or are not currently using Teams, please install the Teams App.

Please note we are unable to offer technical support to participants.