Data Protection Official for Research

NSD is the Data Protecion Official for Research for all the Norwegian universities, university colleges and several hospitals and research institutes. The Data Protecion Official scheme implies that the requirement for obtaining licenses from the Data Inspectorate for a greater part of research projects are replaced by a notification requirement where NSD is the last instance for reviewing applications for licenses. This means that the Data Inspectorate has delegated part of its responsibility to NSD in relation to the Personal Data Act and Health Register Act.

NSD gives high priority to direct contact with scientists and students and the Data Protecion Official puts emphasis on disseminating knowledge of the legal and ethical guidelines regulating research. Staff members offer individual advice to students and scientists who are about to collect their own data, lecture at seminars for scientists and graduate and doctoral students and supply printed material on the privacy issue.

If you, through interviews, questionnaires, observations or other means, are gathering, registering, processing or storing information about individuals (i.e. personal data), then your project is likely to be subject to notification. This means that you are obligated to fill out a notification form (meldeskjema) and submit it to the Data Protection Official for Research. Even if the final report contains no personal data, the project may still be subject to notification if you process personal data while working on the project.

Is my research project subject to notification?

Personal data?

If you are collecting/recording/storing personal data by using a computer, then your project is subject to notification. Any information that may be linked to a person is considered personal data. Information may be linked to a person through that person’s name or a number referring to a list of names, or through a combination of background information.

Sensitive personal data?

Will the data contain sensitive personal data? If so, your project may be subject to notification even if the information is not processed on a computer. If the personal data is systematically stored so that information concerning an individual may be retrieved, then the project is subject to notification.

Audio/video/pictures?

Are you using a computer to process/store audio recordings of people’s voices or video recordings/pictures of people? If so, then your project is subject to notification.

The Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics

Please note that research projects covered by the Health Research Act must be approved in advance by the Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics. Projects covered by the Health Research Act are research projects which intend to generate new knowledge about health and disease. Health related projects not covered by the Health Research Act must be submitted to the Data Protection Official for Research.

Data Protection Official for Research (Norwegian)