The concept of ‘personal data’ under UK and EU data protection law is important for e-social science researchers in the EU who handle ‘personal data’, particularly in cross-border projects. The lack of harmonisation across different EU Member States is problematic. Uncertainties and complexities associated with the definition of ‘personal data’, particularly in the UK, have given rise to practical difficulties, such as in relation to anonymisation. This article discusses those issues and their practical impact, and identifies areas in which there is a need for clarification of the law.
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