There are also government programs that allow for a secure exchange of information, including the data innovation program and the Data BC program. Public bodies enter into information exchange agreements (ISAs) when regular and systematic exchanges of personal data take place between public sector organizations or between a public sector organization and an external agency. ISAs document the conditions for the exchange of personal data in accordance with the provisions of the law and any other applicable legislation. Data-sharing agreements are intellectual property rights, but very small rights. Databases are protected by copyright, but in the United States they have very little or no copyright protection, but have more robust protection elsewhere. For more information, see the intellectual property clause. The exchange of information is an important function of an effective public service. The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) allows public authorities to disclose personal data in certain circumstances. FOIPPA reflects the public utility of information exchange. FoIPPA provides authorities that allow the collection, use and disclosure of personal data. In the absence of strong intellectual property rights to protect data and databases in the United States, data-sharing agreements work best if they are part of a broader agreement among research partners. An individual agreement on data sharing is not intended to supplant the greater agreement between the partners, but to complement and support a particular aspect of the broader agreement.
For a detailed overview of the role of a data-sharing agreement in a larger project among research partners, see Data Sharing: Paige Backlund Jarquin MPH, Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute – Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center. The MS Word model provides an example of a document that can be used when designing ISAs. The code supports the responsible and legitimate exchange of personal data, the protection of personal data and aims to help public authorities to put into practice the fundamental principles of data protection. It was developed in consultation with the Office of the Data Protection Comptroller. The information exchange instructions (ISA instructions) are specific to ministries and promote the responsible and legitimate exchange of information. They indicate the direction to be taken in the preparation of ISAs, even if an ISA is required and when it can be prepared at the discretion of the department. Where the exchange of information is authorized under THE FOIPPA, the protection of personal data is not incompatible with the transmission of personal data. ISAs help ensure privacy when personal data is exchanged. In some cases, an ISA is required and in other cases the ISA is left to the discretion of the department.