Credit Shawn Jensen

Shawn Jensen: GDPR is about giving citizens control over personal data

Data protection regulation GDPR, includes exemptions to allow research on anonymised data

In this exclusive interview with Shawn Jensen, CEO of data privacy company Profila, EuroScientist editor finds out about the implications of the new GDPR regulations for citizens and for researchers. The regulation was adopted on 27th  April 2016 and is due to enter into force on 25th  May 2018. In essence,  it decentralises part of the data protection governance towards data controllers and people in charge of processing the data.

As part of the interview, Jensen explains the exemptions that have been bestowed upon certain activities, such as research, so that scientists can continue to use anonymised data for their work while having to ensure the privacy of the data  required by the law.

In fact, the regulations are designed to preserve the delicate balance between the need to protect the rights of  data subjects in a digitalised and globalised world and yet making it possible to processing of personal data for scientific research, as explained in a recent study by Gauthier Chassang, from the French National Health Research Institute INSERM. The study author concludes: “While the GDPR adopts new specific provisions to ensure adapted data protection in research, the field remains widely regulated at national level, in particular, regarding the application of research participants’ rights, which some could regret. ”

However, Chassaing pursues, ” the GDPR has the merit to set up clearer rules that will positively serve the research practices notably regarding consent, regarding the rules for reusing personal data for another purpose, assessing the risks of data processing …”. In addition, he continues, “for the first time, the GDPR refers to the respect of ethical standards as being part of the lawfulness of the processing in research” and ” opens new possibilities for going ahead in the structuring of data sharing in scientific research with measures encouraging self-regulation development.”

In conclusion to the podcast interview, Jensen discusses the ins and out of ensuring that citizens can consent to the use of their data, in an era where any organisations holding data is required to ensure that individual data is used appropriately.

Find out more by listening to the podcast below.

Sabine Louët

Sabine Louët

Editor at EuroScientist
Sabine has a passion for all things related to European research. A physicist by training, she has been covering stories in life science, the physical sciences, technology, policy and innovation for the past 20 years. She was previously the news editor at Nature Biotechnology. She was also involved in the creation of AlphaGalileo. She is the Founder of SciencePOD translating complex science and tech concepts into high-quality articles written in simple language.
Sabine Louët

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