Most research data – even sensitive data – can be shared ethically and legally if researchers employ strategies of informed consent, anonymisation and controlling access to data. Researchers obtaining data from people are expected to maintain high ethical standards and comply with the relevant legislation.
Researchers must adhere to data protection requirements when managing or sharing personal data. However, not all research data obtained from people count as personal data. If data are anonymised then the Act will not apply as they no longer constitute ‘personal data’.