Data Ethics Framework

This ethical framework is intended for government agencies. However, it can also be useful for other organizations.

This guide has been developed by the United Kingdom government. Several guides have been released that aim to help the public sector use AI.

What you should know before reading further:

  • Target group: persons who come into contact with data in the public sector (data professionals), policy makers, operational personnel and individuals who help to gain insight into that data
  • Process phase: development, evaluation and iteration
  • System component: data usage and processing, entire application, users, context of AI system
  • Price indication: freely available


This guide starts from seven central principles related to the handling of data. These principles are:

  1. Start with a clear need from the user.
  2. Be aware of which laws and codes of ethics apply.
  3. Do not use more data than necessary to solve the user's needs.
  4. Understand the shortcomings of your data.
  5. Make sure you are aware of your own technical skills.
  6. Make sure your work is transparent and responsible.
  7. Ensure data usage is always done responsibly.

Each of these principles has a longer description and there are templates that you can use to properly document these principles. Furthermore, they have developed a workbook that you can use to document the above principles.


This method provides clear documentation of the implementation of the above principles and ensures that ethics, in particular data usage ethics, become an important part of team thinking.

Waarden zoals benoemd
in de tool
  • Integriteit
  • Diversity, Non-discrimination & Fairness
  • Eerlijkheid
  • Objectiviteit
  • Onpartijdigheid

This tool was not developed by the Knowledge Center Data & Society. We describe the tool on our website because it can help you deal with ethical, legal or social aspects of AI applications. The Knowledge Center is not responsible for the quality of the tool.