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Journal Articles Hypertension Year : 2021

Data Sharing Under the General Data Protection Regulation: Time to Harmonize Law and Research Ethics?

1 BRFAA - Biomedical Research Foundation of the Academy of Athens
2 FIZ Karlsruhe - Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur
3 EMBL-EBI - European Bioinformatics Institute [Hinxton]
4 European Molecular Biology Laboratory [Hinxton]
5 BC2M - Biocommunication en Cardio-Métabolique
6 CHU - Hôpital Lapeyronie [Montpellier]
7 UM - Université de Montpellier
8 KfH-Nierenzentrum und Klinikum St. Georg, Nephrologie, Leipzig
9 IRCCS - Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri"
10 Department of Analytical Biochemistry, University of Groningen
11 Vancouver Prostate Centre, Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia
12 ICANS - Institut de Cancérologie de Strasbourg Europe
13 UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg
14 IGBMC - Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire
15 NKUA - National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
16 Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences [Glasgow]
17 Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Transplantation [Leuven]
18 Department of Health Technologies, Tallinn University of Technology
19 Nephrology Section, Department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Ghent University Hospital
20 Translational Metabolic Laboratory, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center
21 Department of Urology, Medizinische Universität Innsbruck
22 Departments of Medicine and of Epidemiology and Population Health and Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS), Stanford University
23 Institute of Cardiovascular Research, RWTH Aachen University
24 Cancer Biology and Epigenetics Group, Portuguese Oncology Institute of Porto and Abel Salazar Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of Porto
25 Division of Surgery, Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Centre
26 Div. Pharmacology, Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University
27 Department of Internal Medicine IV (Nephrology and Hypertension), Medizinische Universität Innsbruck
28 Mosaiques Diagnostics and Therapeutics AG [Hannover, Germany]
29 Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, IIS - Fundación Jiménez Díaz-UAM
30 UCPH - University of Copenhagen = Københavns Universitet
31 Franco-czech Laboratory for clinical research on obesity
32 I2MC - Institut des Maladies Métaboliques et Cardiovasculaires
33 UT3 - Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier
34 Urologie 24, Nuremberg, and Department of Urology, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen
35 Department of Nephrology, University Clinical Center Skopje, North Macedonia
36 Research Institute Alliance for the Promotion of Preventive Medicine, Mechelen, Belgium, Biomedical Science Group, University of Leuven
37 Bioartificial organs, Department of Biomaterials Science and Technology, Technical Medical Centre, University of Twente, Enschede
38 Department of Renal Medicine M99, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm
39 Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, University Hospital, Würzburg
40 Department of Surgery, Division of Urology, The University of Texas Medical Branch
41 DCAC - Défaillance Cardiovasculaire Aiguë et Chronique
42 CIC-P - Centre d'investigation clinique plurithématique Pierre Drouin [Nancy]
43 INI-CRCT - Cardiovascular and Renal Clinical Trialists [Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy]
44 Cardiovascular & Renal Clinical Trialists - CRCT - French-Clinical Research Infrastructure Network - F-CRIN [Paris]
45 Clinical Epidemiology and Physiopathology of Renal Diseases and Hypertension of Reggio Calabria, National Council of Research, Institute of Clinical Physiology
46 European Kidney Health Alliance (EKHA)


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became binding law in the European Union Member States in 2018, as a step toward harmonizing personal data protection legislation in the European Union. The Regulation governs almost all types of personal data processing, hence, also, those pertaining to biomedical research. The purpose of this article is to highlight the main practical issues related to data and biological sample sharing that biomedical researchers face regularly, and to specify how these are addressed in the context of GDPR, after consulting with ethics/legal experts. We identify areas in which clarifications of the GDPR are needed, particularly those related to consent requirements by study participants. Amendments should target the following: (1) restricting exceptions based on national laws and increasing harmonization, (2) confirming the concept of broad consent, and (3) defining a roadmap for secondary use of data. These changes will be achieved by acknowledged learned societies in the field taking the lead in preparing a document giving guidance for the optimal interpretation of the GDPR, which will be finalized following a period of commenting by a broad multistakeholder audience. In parallel, promoting engagement and education of the public in the relevant issues (such as different consent types or residual risk for re-identification), on both local/national and international levels, is considered critical for advancement. We hope that this article will open this broad discussion involving all major stakeholders, toward optimizing the GDPR and allowing a harmonized transnational research approach.
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Dates and versions

hal-03147039 , version 1 (19-02-2021)



Antonia Vlahou, Dara Hallinan, Rolf Apweiler, Angel Argilés, Joachim Beige, et al.. Data Sharing Under the General Data Protection Regulation: Time to Harmonize Law and Research Ethics?. Hypertension, 2021, 74 (4), pp.1029-1035. ⟨10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.120.16340⟩. ⟨hal-03147039⟩
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