Law & Ethics

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Workshop and Public Event: Data protection and research - challenges, conflicts, so-lutions

Today, the ideal of freedom of research and compliance with legal and ethical requirements are hard to reconcile. To allow more leeway for innovative research while protecting the individuals who are subject to research from harm, novel approaches are needed. To discuss current problems and identify potential solutions, researchers from various fields and experts from law and ethics will discuss fundamental questions: Does data protection law hinder research? How does data protection take into account the concerns of research? What is the relationship between legal and ethical requirements? What conditions must be met to ensure that people are willing to make their data available for research? What practical problems do researchers face? And how can the interests of all parties involved be protected in the best possible way?

Project status: To be carried out on 12 May 2021
Contact: PD Dr. Markus Christen and Prof. Dr. Florent Thouvenin

 

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Doctoral thesis: Data protection and research

Data protection law regulates any processing of personal data. These general and sometimes very far-reaching provisions also apply in principle to research, in private companies as well as at universities and state research institutions. Nevertheless, the legislators in Europe and in Switzerland have provided for certain simplifications which are intended to simplify the processing of personal data for research purposes. However, the significance of these special rules has hardly been studied in legal scholarship and their application is extremely unclear. This large gap is to be closed by a doctoral thesis, which illuminates the area of conflict between data protection law and research relatively broadly, but nevertheless in depth, and develops concrete solutions.

Project status: not started yet: project term 3 years
Contact: Prof. Dr. Florent Thouvenin

A continuation of workshops and events is planned to deepen the interdisciplinary dialogue and to exchange ideas on solutions. The first event is primarily aimed at employees of the UZH; at a later stage, wider circles may also be addressed.

 

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Paper: Data protection and research – Ways out of the dilemma

The paper will use concrete constellations (probably also, but not only, with reference to the URPP Dynamics of Healthy Ageing) to highlight the tension between the goals of research and the ethical and legal challenges and propose approaches to solving them. The focus of the paper is primarily on the situation in Switzerland, but also refers to the requirements in the EU.

Project status: Idea sketch
Contact: PD Dr. Markus Christen and Prof. Dr. Florent Thouvenin

 

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Further workshops and events

Continuation of workshops and events is planned to deepen the interdisciplinary dialogue and to exchange ideas on solutions. The first event is primarily aimed at employees of the UZH; at a later stage, wider circles may also be addressed.