The Who, What, and Why: Data Transparency Notices in the UK


  • Reuben Binns University of Southampton
  • David Millard University of Southampton
  • Lisa Harris University of Southampton


open data, transparency, privacy, semantic web


Data protection laws require organisations to be transparent about how they use personal data. This article explores the potential of machine-readable privacy notices to address this transparency challenge. We analyse a large source of open data comprised of semi-structured privacy notifications from hundreds of thousands of organisations in the UK, to investigate the reasons for data collection, the types of personal data collected and from whom, and the types of recipients who have access to the data. We analyse three specific sectors in detail; health, finance, and data brokerage. Finally, we draw recommendations for possible future applications of open data to privacy policies and transparency notices.

Author Biographies

  • Reuben Binns, University of Southampton
    PhD Researcher
    Web Science Institute, Department of Electronics and Computer Science / Faculty of Business and Law.
  • David Millard, University of Southampton

    Senior Lecturer of Computer and Web Science, Department of Electronics and Computer Science

  • Lisa Harris, University of Southampton
    Web Science Institute and Digital Marketing, Faculty of Business and Law, University of Southampton


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