How TRUST Ensures Data is Safe

Combining different types of anonymised data on TRUST would help researchers discover previously hidden health insights and patterns. Such information would be invaluable in helping us to understand diseases, develop treatments, plan health programmes and evaluate public health policy.

To ensure that data on TRUST is safe, secure and fit-for-purpose, TRUST adopts the Five Safes Framework.

TRUST Five Safes Framework

Safe Purpose

Before any research is allowed on TRUST, the TRUST Data Access Committee (DAC) will review the value of the research request (e.g.  scientific, clinical and health) to determine if the research is intended to serve a legitimate objective of benefitting the public and generating social benefit.

Safe People

Individuals with access to TRUST must have the appropriate credentials and only work on approved research, amongst other rules such as time-limited access.

This ensures that there are no unauthorised data disclosures to unknown or unauthorised individuals.

Safe Settings

Data on TRUST is stored in a secured environment with government-standard security measures. There are physical and technical security arrangements to prevent unauthorised data disclosure or exfiltration. In addition, activities on the TRUST platform are monitored to ensure proper usage.

Safe Data

Data on TRUST are accessed and used based on permission granted and are anonymised to reduce re-identification risks. This means that the data on TRUST does not include any identification records, such as NRIC numbers and names, so that specific individuals are unlikely to be identified from the research data. There are also legal and technical safeguards to minimise the risk of re-identifying individuals.

Safe Output

Drafts of any output to be published by Data Requestor must be provided to TRUST first, for review and checks on any re-identification risks.

These “Five Safes” are adjustable controls that complement each other to safely manage risks in data sharing. It serves to provide an optimal balance between supporting healthcare innovation while ensuring data is used securely.

An overview is illustrated below.

Checkpoints to Ensure Safe Access