Scientific research is indispensable inter alia in order to treat harmful diseases, address societal challenges and foster economic innovation. Such research is not the domain of a single type of organization but can be conducted by a range of different entities in both the public and private sectors. Given that the use of personal data may be indispensable for many forms of research, the data protection framework will play an important role in determining not only what types of research may occur but also which types of actors may carry it out. This article looks at the role the EU’s General Data Regulation plays in determining which types of actors can conduct research with personal data. In doing so it focuses on the various legal bases that are available and attempts to discern whether the GDPR can be said to favour research in either the public or private domains. As this article explains, the picture is nuanced, with either type of research actor enjoying advantages and disadvantages in specific contexts.
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DOI 10.1186/s40504-021-00111-z
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