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Data Protection

Establishment and consolidation of data protection standards in the social, educational, behavioral and economic sciences

The German Data Forum (RatSWD) is a driving force behind the establishment and consolidation of standards in the social, behavioural, and economic sciences as well an important and reliable partner for addressing issues of data protection and research ethics to both researchers and research-funding institutions. Robust and sustainable solutions can only be developed by engaging in a dialogue between various relevant actors, which the RatSWD is committed to.

The processing and analysis of microdata requires continuous examination of data protection issues. Microdata are an indispensable foundation for conclusive and innovative research, particlarly in the social, behavioural, and economic sciences. In all its cogent disciplines, research that adheres to the principles of data protection regulation must fulfill numerous legal requirements.

Working in the dynamic space between research and data protection issues, the RatSWD seeks to address the growing technical and legal challenges that arise from the national and European-level regulation environments. One of the German Data Forum’s key tasks is to create an infrastructure that facilitates the provision of research data for scientific use in adherence to data protection regulation.

Overview of the German Data Forum's activities, resources and work results on the topic of data protection:

Publications of the German Data Forum (RatSWD)

Data Protection Handout [DE], 2nd Edition
June 2020

Data Protection Handout [DE]
This handout provides researchers from the social, behavioural, and economic sciences with an overview of the relevant German data protection regulation for empirical research.
January 2017

Digitisation, data protection, impact: the RatSWD discusses recent EU science policy
Press release 16 July 2018

How does the EU data protection reform affect research data centres?
Press release 3 May 2018

German Data Forum Publishes Handout on Data Protection in Empirical Research
Press release 7 March 2017

EU Data Protection: Imminent Threat to Empirical Social and Economic Sciences Averted
Press release 23 December 2015

Final Report of the Working Group Data Protection and Qualitative Social Research
Published in German as RatSWD Working Paper #238/2014: ‘Datenschutzrechtliche Anforderungen bei der Generierung und Archivierung qualitativer Interviewdaten’

Statments of the German Data Forum (RatSWD)

Statement
German Data Forum opinions on EU Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications, in particular Articles 8 and 16
November 2017

Statement
Opinion on the draft of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to adapt the first and tenth books oft he Social Code (SGB I and SGB X) to the EU GDPR a part of the association’s participation
April 2017

Participation in the Statement
Participation in the joint statement of non-university research institutions on the federal government’s draft law. Additionally, the German Data Forum introduced the recommendation for the role of research data centres in the legislative process
February 2017

Statement
Opinion of the German Data Forum on the revised draft of the DSAnpUG-EU of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, as part of the association’s participation
November 2016

Statement
Opinion of the German Data Forum on securing innovative research in the social and economic sciences in the EU GDPR
August 2015

RatSWD Statement
Statement by the German Data Forum on select aspects of the current draft of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
February 2015

Statement
Opinion of the German Data Forum on the current status of the EU data protection reform and the open letter from Science Europe
August 2014

RatSWD Working Group 2011-2014

The aim of the Working Group Data Protection and Qualitative Social Research (2011-2014) under Prof. Liebig was to improve the re-use of qualitative data.

Past RatSWD events and workshops

Plenarvortrag “Offener Zugang zu Forschungsdaten vs. Datenschutz: Institutionelle und technische Lösungsmodelle in den Sozial- und Wirtschaftswissenschaften” im Rahmen des RDA-Deutschland Treffens
28.-29. November 2016, Potsdam

Forum F ‘Data protection and data access in the future European legal framework at the 6th Conference for Social and Economic Data (6|KSWD)
20-21 February 2014, Berlin

Keynote by Peter Schaar ‘Big Data, Amtliche Statistik und der Datenschutz’ at the 6th Conference for Social and Economic Data (6|KSWD)
20-21 February 2014, Berlin

Articles in the RatSWD Working Paper Series on data protection

RatSWD Working Paper #258/2017
Katrin Schaar: ‘What is important for Data Protection in science in the future?’

RatSWD Working Paper #238/2014
Arbeitsgruppe Datenschutz und Qualitative Sozialforschung: ‘Datenschutzrechtliche Anforderungen bei der Generierung und Archivierung qualitativer Interviewdaten’

RatSWD Working Paper #90/2009
Michael Häder: ‘Der Datenschutz in den Sozialwissenschaften’