The Proposed Data Protection Regulation and Its Potential Impact on Social Sciences Research in the UK

Leslie Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article critically assesses the potential impact of the proposed Data Protection Regulation on the undertaking of social sciences research in the UK, providing practical analysis from the perspective of research involving administrative data. This assessment reveals how changes to the key concepts of anonymisation, personal data and lawfulness may impact upon social sciences research. The approach taken to the regulation of personal versus anonymised data in the proposed Regulation represents a disproportionate and de-contextualised response to the risks involved in undertaking social sciences research that may create disincentives for investing in privacy protective mechanisms. It is positive that there is explicit recognition of research as a legitimate form of data processing. However, negative implications will arise from the introduction of pseudonymous data as a subset of personal data, without proportionate consideration of varying processing contexts and factors surrounding de-identification and specifically, the strict security measures taken to prohibit de-identification in the research context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-112
JournalEuropean Data Protection Law Review
Volume1
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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