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RESPECT for confidentiality


interim report Interim report

This is an era when it is routine to collect and store data electronically, and data-mining techniques are becoming ever more sophisticated and profitable. Major concerns are therefore raised about the confidentiality of information collected in the course of research, and researchers have a duty to protect the anonymity of their informants.

RESPECT’s work on data protection will be led by CRID, who will review the existing legislation in order to produce clear guidelines for researchers.

The EU directive 95/46/EC on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, encourages the elaboration of codes of conduct intended to contribute to the proper implementation of national provisions adopted by the Member States pursuant to the directive. These codes of conducts can be elaborated by trade associations or other bodies taking into account the particularities of their activities.

This work-package aims to develop guidelines as to how to respect data protection principles in the field of socio-economic research. These guidelines will enable the persons or projects to develop results in compliance with the data protection rules.

  1. Review of existing EU legislation in the field of data protection. The elaboration of a code of conduct on data protection issues requires an analysis of the main principles present in data protection legislation in the EU in the field of data protection. These principles stem from the directive 95/46/EC. The directive leaves the Member States with a margin for manoeuvre and therefore allows for differences to remain. These differences must be highlighted with a view either of reaching a common approach in a set of guidelines applicable to socio-economic research in all Member States or of listing the exceptions and limitations existing in a specific Member State. This phase will draw extensively on the existing knowledge of partners but will also involve desk-based and library-based research

  2. Preparation of guidelines. On the basis of the above, a common set of guidelines on how and to what extent personal data may be used in the field of socio-economic research will be elaborated. An overview of some specific data protection issues related to socio-economic research must be undertaken in order to address these issues when elaborating the guidelines.

The partners working on this workpackage are specialists in data protection issues who will work closely with the ECLIP project to ensure state-of-the-art Europe-wide coverage. They will use established links with both provider and user groups throughout Europe to ensure relevant, state-of-the-art coverage. Relevant draft documents and questionnaires will be posted on this website, and feedback on these from the research community is welcomed.

You may register your interest in taking part in this process.

After taking full account of feedback from all relevant parties, the code will be revised for final publication and adoption.