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If you own the copyright to your data, you can provide it with a Creative Commons license and publish it. However, if you collect data from individuals, you must additionally observe the legal regulations of data protection to protect the data.
All data of persons that can be used to identify them must be protected. This includes not only name, email address or similar, but also pictures, videos, even dance movements can identify people. In addition, sensitive data of people must also be protected. Which data is classified as sensitive is conclusively defined in the Data Protection Act.
|Data from identifiable persons||Sensitive data|
Just like any other data, personal and sensitive data can be stored, (collaboratively) edited and shared. In contrast to non-personal data, additional security measures need to be taken:
The Data Protection Law Team of the University of Zurich offers a first overview of important topics concerning the handling of sensitive data (see especially their glossary).
Data protection in research projects
The DMLawTool provides help on all legal aspects of research data management. With the help of a decision tree, you receive information on data protection as well as copyright and licenses specifically geared to your own research project.
With the Self-Assessment Tool of the team Data Protection at the UZH, you can quickly gain an overview of whether you work with personal data at all in your project, where you need to take a closer look, and whether you need to submit an application to an ethics committee.
To the Self-Assessment Tool Data Protection
In order to share personal or sensitive data publicly, you must anonymize or pseudonymize it. Anonymized data can be shared openly and – unlike pseudonymized data – is no longer subject to data protection.
Personal or sensitive information is aggregated, regrouped, or deleted in such a way that no one can re-identify individuals in the data without a great deal of additional effort.
The data is encrypted in such a way that the persons behind the data can no longer be identified. However, with the help of the key, the original data can be restored.
If you can't share your data for ethical, legal, or technical reasons, you still have the option to share the associated metadata. This way, the dataset itself is not public, but the information that it exists is.
Are you unsure whether your study is ethically sound? You can find procedures for the ethical evaluation of research projects with the relevant UZH faculty below.
As a researcher in the humanities or social sciences, you can use the Ethics Committee checklist to determine whether your study requires an ethics application:
Download: Ethics Checklist of the Faculty of Art and Social Sciences
For further guidance, please refer to the Faculty Ethics Committee
At the Faculty of Business, Economics and Informatics, there is an ethical clearance process for economic science projects. For more information, contact the head of the ethics committee, Prof. Michel Maréchal
As a researcher in the field of medicine, you can check your research project for ethical soundness using the CEBES checklist:
Further guidance on ethical issues and ethics applications:
Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine (IBME)
Researchers of the Faculty of Science are invited to consult Stephan Neuhauss: firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the Faculty of Theology there is an ethical clearance process for projects from Theology and the Study of Religions. Checklist and applications form for the Ethics-Committee Faculty of Theology are provided here.
Research projects from all areas of human research are assessed by the Kantonale Ethikkommission (KEK). It verifies compliance with the guidelines of the Human Research Act.