SECTION RELATING TO DATA HELD BY THE EARTh RESEARCH COMMITTEE & GDPR REGULATIONS
GDPR: Information for Research Participants
As of 25th May 2018, under the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), you are required by law to be informed about how any research data of a personal nature submitted by you to the EARTh Research Committee is held, processed and kept safe.
Information You Must be Informed About?
- What Data is held about you
- How this data is held and processed
- Who sees this data
- The lawful basis for holding your data
Why are You Being Informed About This?
Under Common Law and embraced by the new GDPR, information is considered personal and confidential if:
- It is not in the public domain
- It can be related to an identifiable individual
- It has a degree of sensitivity associated with it
- It is given with the expectation that it will be kept confidential. (Individuals do not have to be explicit about their expectations when entrusting others with their information: this expectation is often implicit, such as research data provided)
What Data is Held About You?
The Research Committee holds, or may hold in the future, certain personal data about you which you have submitted, or will submit, to us via Research Surveys.
This research data may include:
- Your name
- Your phone number, email address and other contact details
- Data submitted by you pertaining to the research topic being addressed
You have the right to know how the Research Committee holds your data, why it is held, and for how long it will be held.
How is Your Data Held?
- Any personal data you provide by participating in a research project will be held confidentially and will only be viewed by members of the Research Committee. This may include your name, phone number, email address, other contact details, and of course the themed survey data. How it is held will often depend upon the data collection software used and how it is analysed via collation in a database; for example it may be stored in Google Forms and/or collated in an Excel database. You will always be informed of the particularities around this with any new research projects you decide to participate in.
- In terms of prior researches:
- The data submitted regarding the EARTh Special Interest Survey included names, phone numbers, email addresses and other personal information submitted by participants. This data is held within Google Forms. Accessing your data can only be achieved by submitting a password to access Google Forms and only two members of the Research Committee can directly access the Special Interest Survey data. In the interests of research analysis, the data from Google Forms has also been downloaded into an Excel Database for ease of use of the data. The Excel Database is available to all members of the Research Committee and is password protected.
- Prior research data submitted in other surveys (to include the ‘What Does Not Work’ survey) is held in password protected Word Documents. Only members of the EARTh Research Committee have access to the research data collated in Word format.
- Emails may be sent to the research committee which contain personal data. These may be sent and received to communicate about research studies or to provide further research data. Emails are received and retained in committee members’ email accounts which are password protected. Please note that normal emails are not encrypted, however for ease of use for both parties, normal emails which do not contain sensitive data are permitted. You are advised to send anything of a personal and/or sensitive nature to any members of the EARTh Research Committee as a password protected attached file.
Why is This Data Held?
The lawful basis for holding this data relates to Article 6(1) of the EU GDPR whereby:
(f) processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.
The governance arrangements around legitimate interests being the assurance that your personal data is held because:
- It will only be used to support legitimate research activities that are considered to be in the public interest
- It is necessary to support research studies and meet the purposes of research activities under the auspices of the EARTh Research Committee
- And safeguards and protects your interests as a research participant
Who Sees This Research Data?
Any research data entrusted to the research team will be handled with reasonable care and within reasonable expectations. This means that the data provided will be discussed and shared with members of the Research Committee where necessary to process and analyse the data to transform it into meaningful information. Such collaboration is common in research and meets reasonableness tests. Your confidentiality is crucial and shall be respected at all times. Your personal information will never be shared with others. In terms of any research reporting no identifiable details of any research participants will be shared and your anonymity shall be maintained to the highest ethical standards.
- No research data will be held which does not serve the lawful obligations of the EARTh Research Committee; being to undertake legitimate and purposeful research which safeguards and protects your interests as a research participant
- Research Data will not be retained for any longer than lawfully and legitimately required and will standardly be retained for a period of seven years
- No research data will ever be sent to third parties; with the exception of analysed research reporting (such as submission in article format to the IJRT) which will only include anonymised data.
- All data held (dominantly electronic) is securely stored and protected to maintain your confidentiality
- Where sensible and possible to do so data will be encrypted and/or password protected
- You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. However, we would need to discuss this as there are certain situations that require information to be retained for a specific period.
- If you have any other questions regarding how the personal research data submitted by you is processed and handled, please do not hesitate to this with any members of the research team.