Press release, November 13, 2019
At its 53rd meeting on 7-8 November 2019, the German Data Forum (Rat für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsdaten, RatSWD) elected Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schupp as the new Deputy Chairperson, taking over from Prof. Stefan Bender.
In addition to the election, scientific standards in data collection were also discussed with regard to new technologies, such as GPS sensors and heart rate monitors; the recommendations made during this discussion will be published separately and in a timely manner. Lastly, the focus of the meeting was on the concept of joint responsibility under data protection law, in particular for individual researches and their research institutes.
The German Data Forum (RatSWD) has appointed Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schupp as new vice-chairperson. Jürgen Schupp is deputy director of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at the German Institute of Economic Research (DIW Berlin), and is a Professor of Sociology at the Freie University Berlin. Prior to becoming deputy chairperson, Jürgen Schupp has followed the work of the German Data Forum (RatSWD) through his engagement with the SOEP, and has been a member of the German Data Forum (RatSWD) since 2017; his working group is centred on the top of roadmap processes.
The German Data Forum (RatSWD) would like to give special thanks to Prof. Stefan Bender (Deutsche Bundesbank), who resigned at deputy chairperson due to his many other commitments. He has been a part of the office since 2014, and has made a great contribution towards the future success of the German Data Forum (RatSWD), especially in the last two years when a variety of directional decisions had to be made. Stefan Bender continues to be a member of the German Data Forum (RatSWD) for the Bundesbank, and represents the committee in the Statistical Advisory Board, the UK Data Forum, and numerous other official engagements.
During its 53rd session on 7-8 November 2019, the German Data Forum (RatSWD) also agreed on recommendations for scientific standards for data collection, regarding new technologies, such as GPS sensors and heart rate monitors. These new technological possibilities are already actively used in research and open up new potential for scientific data collection. However, these should be framed with standards for quality assurance, ethical and data protective aspects, as well as comprehensive research data management. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) will publish recommendations for these developments promptly.
There is still a need to clarify how the European General Data Protection Regulation will be applied, for example, on the concept of shared responsibility, which has been determined by the German Data Forum (RatSWD) in exchange with Prof. Dr. Rolf Schwartmann (TH Cologne, Society for Data Protection and Data Security). The collective responsibility of different actors in data collection and processing also regularly exists in scientific research projects, for example, between individual researchers and their institutes. It is important in such instances of shared responsibility that a collective agreement is reached between parties, and transparency is communicated.
The next meeting of the RatSWD will take place after the 8th Conference for Social and Economic Data (8|KSWD) on March 2/3, 2020 in Berlin.
Established in 2004, the German Data Forum (Rat für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsdaten, RatSWD) is an independent council. It advises the German federal government and the federal states (Länder) in matters concerning the research data infrastructure for the empirical social, behavioural, and economic sciences. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) has 16 members. Membership consists of eight elected representatives of the social, behavioural, and economic sciences and eight appointed representatives of Germany’s most important data producers. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) offers a forum for dialogue between researchers and data producers, who jointly issue recommendations and position papers.
The council furthers the development of a research infrastructure that provides researchers with flexible and secure access to a broad range of data. The German Data Forum (RatSWD) has accredited 34 research data centres and fosters their interaction and collaboration.