In , Julia Powles wrote in relation to My Health Record that it is staggering that an Australian public service has moved to centralise its citizens’ ‘most intimate and sensitive information without rst securing a social licence.’ She noted that a similar scheme in the United Kingdom, care.data, ‘collapsed spectacularly’ and it is signicant to note that the failure of care.data has also been linked to failure to build and maintain social licence. Our project is concerned with a related issue, that is, how to build and maintain social licence to support the use of administrative data for health research. Governments routinely collect health data, such as births, deaths, and hospital admissions, in order to manage and fund health services. The value of this resource for health research is expanding rapidly with big data analytics. Impressive benets can be achieved where researchers have access to the data for analysis and, in particular, data linkage. Our concern is that a lack of social licence for such research has the potential to undermine community support for the use of personal health information for research. In general, governments are supportive of allowing access to data for research, however, while legislation can authorise the use of this kind of data for the benet of all, public acceptance does not necessarily follow. Health researchers need a licence, not granted to other members of society, to access and use individuals’ health data, often without consent, for the purposes of their research. Who is responsible for building this social licence? How is social licence built and how is it maintained?