Data Matching/ Data Mining
Data matching is a way of processing large volumes of information in an efficient way. It involves comparing computer records held by one part of the Trust against other computer records held by another part of the Trust or another body (for example The Department for Work and Pensions, other local authorities, HM Revenues and Customs and West Midlands Police).
Data matching enables us to identify information that is inaccurate or out of date, which helps us comply with the data protection legislation. In certain circumstances, data matching also improves service provision through better use of data.
The Trust undertakes data matching, where necessary to comply with legal requirements placed on the Trust. These include to:
- Detect and prevent crime/fraud (National Fraud Initiative); and
- Assist in emergency response management (by allowing the Trust, in conjunction with the emergency services, to identify individuals who may need additional support in certain circumstances such as in the event of an emergency evacuation).
Local Authorities, such as the Trust, are also legally required to provide particular sets of data to the Cabinet Officer and Audit Officer for data matching. Any data matching obligation placed on local authorities are governed by the Cabinet Office and do not require individuals consent.
Much of the information we share to prevent and detect crime, protect public funds and support the safeguarding function is done through data mining (or data warehousing). This is a very efficient and secure way of sharing information.