Data Protection Regulation may be more flexible for researchers

Negotiations between the European Council, European Parliament and the European Commission are well on the way almost 2 years since the start of the legislative process.
Data Protection

The European institutions have come under intense pressure to make allowances for health researchers in this Regulation which would set out the requirements by which all forms of Data are processed throughout the EU. The VPH Policy Affairs Working Group has been active since the start of this process to ensure the research needs of Members have been met and have been engaged in a joint campaign with key medical researcher groups to ensure this position is heard.

Current discussions are focused on Chapter IX (Special Categories of Data) of the GDPR and potential compromises on processing of data for scientific purposes which refer to Article 83. The articles relating to Article 83 however, including in Article 9.2(i), are suggested to be maintained and instead to focus on Article 83 itself to find a compromise with the Parliament.

It is expected that the Presidency of the European Council will maintain the overall approach of the processing of health data but will make certain allowances for health researchers. Specifically:

  • Dividing the purposes into ‘archiving purposes in the public interest’, ‘scientific research purposes’ and ‘historical and statistical purposes’.
  • Adding a new article allowing pseudonymisation for scientific and statistical data. This would be applied only if it would not prevent achieving the purpose of processing.
  • Granting the ability for Union or Member State law may to provide for derogations from Articles 16,17a,17b (Rectification and Erasure) insofar as such derogation is necessary for the fulfilment of the specific purpose for scientific and statistical data in specific circumstances.

These items are all for discussion in the Council but do not represent any detriment to the ability of health researchers to conduct retrospective research.

Overall it appears that policy makers are not unwilling to take into account the needs of researchers and that this Data Protection Regulation will indeed make rules clearer and will not restrict the ability of Members to conduct their work.


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Date: 02/12/2015 | Tag: | News: 430 of 576
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