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SSHOC Workshop: Data Protection in research practice: The GDPR and the ELDAH Consent Form Wizard

Koraljka Kuzman Šlogar; Vanessa Hannesschläger; Walter Scholger; Paweł Kamocki

In this workshop, we discussed the European legal framework for data privacy and processing personal data (General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR). The workshop helped participants understand how their research is affected by the GDPR and what issues to pay attention to.

The workshop began with a general introduction to the topics of data protection and the processing of personal data in the context of research, education and cultural heritage to summarize the pertinent articles of the GDPR. We then moved on to speak about the most common scenarios in which humanities' and social sciences' researchers encounter data protection issues. Examples of this included surveys, interviews and other research activities involving human participants, but also common academic scenarios like communication (mailing-lists, newsletters) and events (e.g. regarding picture and video recordings).

Because researchers have to obtain legal consent from their participants in order to comply with the GDPR for many of their activities, the DARIAH working group ELDAH (Ethics and Legality in Digital Arts and Humanities) has developed a tool that provides standardized consent form templates for obtaining legal consent from human participants: The DARIAH ELDAH Consent Form Wizard (CFW). The CFW enables digital scholars and the wider research infrastructure community to quickly and easily obtain a standardized consent form that is legally valid in all of the European Union.

The workshop participants were introduced to this tool and got a chance to test it by applying it to their own research practices. They used the tool to download templates to obtain research participants’ consent; these templates can be adjusted to their specific needs in a few simple steps. Workshop participants had also a chance to give feedback on the CFW: to point out elements that are missing and suggest additional consent scenarios.

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