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"Slowdown"of Data Sharing

Some research data sharing has slowed as non-European partners figure out ways to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ScienceInsider reports.

One such affected researcher in the US is NIH Director Francis Collins, who has a long-standing collaboration with a group in Finland to study genetic variants associated with type 2 diabetes risk, it says, adding that when GDPR came into effect, the Finnish institute had to stop sharing data with the NIH until the agency can assure the Finnish institute that it meets its interpretation of the law. But the contract that many institutes are asked to sign to guarantee data privacy includes provisions that the signatory submit to European data audits and European jurisdiction — which was a "nonstarter" according to Collins, as NIH is a government agency, it adds.

ScienceInsider reports that researchers from NIH, academia, and industry and others have gathered for a meeting in Brussels to air their complaints about GDPR's effect on research.

"I hope this is only a temporary slowdown, and that the meeting in Brussels opens the way to a solution," Collins tells it.