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Internet research

Obligation to notify

Will you be conducting research on information found on the Internet? In that case, your project will be subject to notification if you process personally identifiable information on a computer. Examples of such processing may be saving documents from open or closed discussion forums, containing "nicknames" or names of participants. Furthermore, direct quotations can be searchable, and thus might be considered personally identifiable information.

Information and consent

As a general rule, one should provide information to participants and they should give their consent to the processing of personal data in connection with research projects. However, there may be exceptions from these requirements for information and consent, depending on whether:

  • The information is collected from an open or closed forum/website
  • It is possible to give information and obtain consent
  • The information is sensitive
  • The information will be published with or without personally identifiable information

Copyright

Information posted on the Internet may be protected by copyright and may therefore not necessarily be published without obtaining permission from the copyright holder. Copyright in Norway is governed by the Copyright Act (page in Norwegian).This topic concerns copyright-protected material such as blogs, photos, videos and music.

It may also be helpful to read The National Committee for Research Ethics in the Social Sciences and the Humanities' (NESH) ethical guidelines for Internet research.

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