Scientific research saved in new EU data protection agreement

With many other scientific organisations, EuroScience has followed closely the upcoming modifications of the Data Protection legislation and Directive. The reason was that the initial amendments by the European Parliament did away with the exemptions from the Commission proposals for scientific research. Important research in for example medical science and social science, for which scientists and their institutions have developed and enforce strict guidelines for e.g. consent and procedures to protect privacy, would have become impossible.

The European Council had re-introduced the exemptions and Parliament and Council had agreed in December 2015 on a new version which also maintains the exemptions for scientific research. Today, April 14 the EP has adopted the new rules. It looks indeed as if the necessary exemptions are in this final version. A bit of caution is warranted, for the text is complex and long. But EuroScience believes that in the end the EU institutions have realised that society and citizens stand to benefit greatly if scientific research can use data, of course in responsible ways.

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