Thursday, 14 July 2022
09:15-12:00, Zentralbibliothek, Hermann-Escher-Saal

Workshop: Dealing with Sensitive Data

Workshop by Pablo Diaz and Marieke Heers

In this workshop you will:

– Learn to recognize sensitive and/or personal data
– Understand the main ethical and legal challenges around sensitive data
– Learn how to practically process sensitive data to comply with Open Data requirements with respect to data security, data processing (anonymization/coding) and the sharing of sensitive data

    In the era of Open Science, researchers are increasingly required to share their research data. Not only do funders require data management plans to be submitted alongside their research proposals and expect the sharing of data after the project’s completion, but also an increasing number of scientific journals make data sharing a condition for publication. While researchers tend to declare positive attitudes towards data sharing, this is not without posing a number of legal, ethical and practical challenges, especially for researchers working with sensitive data.

    From a legal perspective, sensitive data is a special category of data whose processing is subject to strict rules and principles. Throughout this workshop we will provide theoretical and practical insights for sharing sensitive data and meet Open Science requirements. After briefly presenting the legal framework governing the processing of sensitive data at the Swiss and European level, we will address questions such as: What are the differences between sensitive and personal data? How can sensitivity be measured and what are the consequences with respect to legal and ethical requirements? How to obtain valid informed consent? How to practically process sensitive data in order to fulfill Open Data requirements? The workshop will alternate between presentations and short exercises, which will allow to understand the challenges related to this topic in a practical way. Participants will learn how good data management practices can be valuable throughout the research process.

    • Diaz

      Dr. Pablo Diaz


      Pablo Diaz works as a Research Associate at FORS. Diaz's research topics address policy transfer, development policy, social protection, international organizations, and qualitative research methodology.

    • Heers

      Dr. Marieke Heers


      Marieke Heers works as a Senior Researcher at FORS. Heers specializes in the collection, processing, and analysis of quantitative data in the areas of educational research and family demographics.