How do I deal with datasets that contain personal data?
Before the start of a research project, a researcher makes the decision to collect data him/herself or to use existing datasets or a combination of the two. This process, if applicable, takes place simultaneously with the application for the ethical review.
Paper-based or digital datasets
For academic research, paper-based or digital datasets that also contain traceable personal data are often used. This may include
Setting up a new dataset with respondents
In the case of academic research you can set up a new dataset by collecting data from respondents or by combining two existing datasets (public or otherwise).
Reuse of already collected datasets (secondary use)
In academic research, it often happens that data collected for research is reused in a new study. This is referred to as secondary use, for which the GDPR has included specific regulations.
In addition, there are specific guidelines when public datasets and web scraping are used to collect personal data.
Tilburg University considers the data collected in the context of such research to be personal data. This policy choice has been made because patterns from such surveys may be traceable to individuals in the future.