Opportunity or Threat?  EU Data Protection Reform

30 April 2015, 14:00 - 15:30

SG2, Alison Richard Building

This talk is part of the Digital Humanities Strategic Network seminars at CRASSH. The event is free to attend but registration is necessary. To book your place please click here or use the online registration button.


Opportunity or Threat? EU Data Protection Reform and the Future of Social Science and Humanities Governance
Speaker: David Erdos

Abstract:

The broad material scope of EU data protection combined with its sometimes onerous standards can pose a serious threat to Social Science and Humanities (SSH) study, much of which depends on a relatively free flow of information, including personal information, for its progress and vitality. Unlike journalism which claims broad and deep derogations from data protection, SSH has traditionally been understood as only benefiting from relatively narrow and limited special "research" provisions. The EU data protection framework is now being reviewed. According at least to the European Parliament, the default scheme governing research should become even more restrictive. At the same time, both the Parliament's and the Council's draft of the proposed new Data Protection Regulation would, in principle, explicitly open up the possibility of even the research provisions being derogated from in the interests of "freedom of expression". Moreover, the Council text would in theory protect "academic expression" on a par with that of journalism. The reform process, therefore, presents an ambiguous picture for the future of SSH governance. How liberal or otherwise the schemes which eventually emerge will be is likely to depend significantly on the stance adopted by the SSH community itself.

 

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