Who owns the data about individuals collected by the UK Government, NHS, academics and private companies in context of the COVID-19 pandemic such as data from contact tracing apps?

Legal framework

In the UK, there is no comprehensive framework to determine ownership of data, which is not generally understood to be property1. For example, English judges have held that confidential information is not property which can be stolen2 and that it was not possible to exercise a lien over intangible property such as an electronic database3. However, there are laws that regulate and offer protection to certain types of data, such as the data protection legislation or laws relating to copyright, database rights and breach of confidence / trade secrets.

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