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.
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:
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.