European Data Protection Board releases Guidelines on the processing covid-19 related research data
During its 23rd plenary session, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) adopted guidelines on the processing of health data for research purposes in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak and guidelines on geolocation and other tracing tools in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The EDPB guidelines on the processing of health data for research purposes in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak aim to shed light on the most urgent legal questions concerning the use of health data, such as the legal basis of processing, further processing of health data for the purpose of scientific research, the implementation of adequate safeguards and the exercise of data subject rights.
The guidelines state that the GDPR contains several provisions for the processing of health data for the purpose of scientific research, which also apply in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, in particular relating to consent and to the respective national legislations. The GDPR foresees the possibility to process certain special categories of personal data, such as health data, where it is necessary for scientific research purposes.
In addition, the guidelines address legal questions concerning international data transfers involving health data for research purposes related to the fight against COVID-19, in particular in the absence of an adequacy decision or other appropriate safeguards.
Currently, great research efforts are being made in the fight against COVID-19. Researchers hope to produce results as quickly as possible. The GDPR does not stand in the way of scientific research, but enables the lawful processing of health data to support the purpose of finding a vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 - Andrea Jelinek, Chair of the EDPB
Want to know more about health data and GDPR compliance? On April 29th and on May 4th 2020 OpenAIRE is organising two webinars on this subject. In these webinars, our experts will provide a legal perspective on research data management - both theoretical and practical. Given the current health crisis, the practical examples will focus on biomedical sciences and medical data - but the webinars will be relevant for researchers and research admin from all fields (including social sciences and humanities).