In DepthData Protection

Researchers sound alarm on European data law

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Science  22 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6468, pp. 936
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6468.936

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Summary

Many people associate the European privacy law known as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with website pop-ups that demand your consent to store browsing behavior as cookies. An annoyance, perhaps, but hardly more than an inconvenience. For some researchers, however, GDPR has turned out to be a serious impediment. For example, progress on a Finnish-U.S. diabetes study "slowed to a crawl" after data flows on the project were stopped because of GDPR, says Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). This week in Brussels, representatives from NIH, academia, industry, patient advocacy groups, the European Commission, and data protection authorities met to share their GDPR frustrations. They hope to highlight the obstacles it creates for some international collaborations and explore possible responses.

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