Data Protection and Research

Challenges, Conflicts, Possible Solutions

Wednesday, 12 May 2021, 6:15 - 7:45 pm CET, online (link will be sent prior to event upon receipt of registration)

Research and data protection are in an area of complex tension. In many disciplines, research is based on the collection and analysis of large amounts of data. This regularly involves personal data, i.e. data that can be related to specific individuals. The processing of personal data is regulated comprehensively by data protection law, the provisions of which must (also) be complied with by universities and the research departments in the industrial sector. Many research projects must also be submitted to an ethics committee for approval because they often involve health-related personal data.

On a regular basis conflicts of objectives arise between the ideal of extensive freedom of research and compliance with legal requirements and ethical standards. The questions that arise are manifold: Does data protection law impede research? How does data protection take into account the concerns of research? What is the relationship between legal and ethical requirements? What framework conditions must be met to get people’s authorization to make their data accessible for research? What practical problems do researchers face? What should be done if research data should or must be disclosed ("open data")? And how can the interests of all those involved be protected in the best possible way?

The ITSL and the UFSP Dynamics of Healthy Ageing will explore these questions at an evening event. Experts from the fields of ethics and data protection law will present the normative framework, while researchers from the UZH will outline the challenges. Together they will explore the question of how the conflicts between data protection and research can be mitigated, how the challenges can be overcome and how solutions can be found that promote research while at the same time providing adequate protection for the individuals concerned.

Admission is free. We ask for registration by email to We look forward to your participation!

The event will be held in German.

Flyer (in German) (PDF, 265 KB)