UK Covid-19 Inquiry: Terms of Reference Consultation Response

Response by Cian O’Donovan, Melanie Smallman and Jame Wilson, UCL.

This is a written response submitted by the UK Pandemic Ethics Accelerator’s Data-Use workstream to the online consultation at

In this submission we recommend that the UK Covid-19 Inquiry pursue a comprehensive evaluation of data use during the pandemic. The inquiry should establish how data was used during the covid-19 pandemic, how effective data use was, ethical trade-offs involved in using data at large scale, and gaps that remain today in public data sets, especially on vulnerable people in society. In making these recommendations we bring to bear expertise in the ethics of public health and social care data; expertise in science, technology, and innovation policy; and findings from the UKRI Pandemic Ethics Accelerator on the use of public data and personal data in the covid-19 Pandemic.We respond directly to the consultation questions as set out below.