Protezione dei dati personali e ricerca scientifica


  • Ugo Trivellato Università degli Studi di Padova



The issue of privacy versus data access is at the crossroads of the recent legislation on data protection, that extends to all kinds of personal data and their uses. The paper takes the point of view of an analytical user, i.e. a person wanting to (collect and principally) process micro data for research purposes. It focuses on some basic features of the issue and on their policy implications. First of all, the societal role of scientific research and its intrinsic needs are considered: they are the basis for motivating a "credit of confidentiality" when personal data are processed for scientific purposes. Some basic principles and guidelines for regulating this credit of confidentiality, as they are set out in recent international recommendations and regulations, are then briefly reviewed. The state of the affairs in Italy is discussed: a fairly strict act on data protection was passed in 1996; substantial improvements were introduced by further legislation; a code of conduct has been recently adopted, which is crucial both for a liberal interpretation of the rules and for making them effective (indeed, the more favourable provisions dealing with the processing personal data for research purposes were conditional on the code to come into force). The concluding remarks stress the need for additional efforts to make micro databases widely available to researchers.




How to Cite

Trivellato, U. (2003). Protezione dei dati personali e ricerca scientifica. Statistica, 63(4), 627–648.