If you are conducting interviews/surveys and collect data from or of persons, you may be collecting personal data.
Personal data is all data relating to an identified or identifiable natural person, such as name, social security number, home address, telephone number, e-mail address, video image, voice of a person, IP-address, location data of a person or a combination data from which a person can be recognized (e.g. occupation and place of residence).
The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is applied as of 25 May 2018 in all of the EU member states as the GDPR is the applicable legislation as such and applies to all processing of personal data.
How to handle personal data in the project (if conducting interviews/surveys)?
- Individuals can be identified by other data than their names. Thus, simply deleting the names and other identifying data will not always render all data in a personal data file anonymous.
you are conducting interviews/surveys and collect data from or of persons, plan
what data you need.
- Think about what data you need and also what data you do not need. Is it necessary to collect personal data? Think of how you can design your study so that your data is least identifiable while still accomplishing your goals.
- Anonymized data
are no longer considered to constitute personal data and are not subject to
data protection regulations.
an individual data item can be considered anonymous or not requires
case-by-case evaluation. Therefore,
it is recommended that you will send the following privacy notice to
the interviewee even if you do not aim to collect personal data. The customized template for the Capstone course can be found here in English and in Finnish.
Please fill in your project specific information to the parts that are
highlighted in yellow and send it to the interviewee before the
interview. It's recommended that you anonymize (see the last bullet) or
pseudonymize the interview results (e.g. Company A, person 1) when
writing notes of the interviews, and report the findings in the final
report and presentation anonymously (see #4 in the privacy notice; if
it's not possible to pseudonymize the findings or report them
anonymously it needs to be changed to the privacy notice accordingly).
- Please also send the consent to participate (English or Finnish) to the interviewee with the privacy notice. It is enough if the interviewee states orally that they agree to participate
in the interview so no need to print, sign and scan it. If you wish to
record the interview, you need to ask the interviewee's oral permission
to do so before starting the recording.
personal information (also pseudonymized information is considered
personal information) should be stored on the researcher's personal
computer or on the
Aalto OneDrive or Google Drive platforms but not on the free cloud platform, e.g. free OneDrive. Store it only in one place.
most Capstone projects, the purpose of the interviews is to gain a
general understanding of the phenomenon, not to identify which
interviewee said what. Therefore, you can anonymize the interview notes,
after which it is no longer personal data and can be shared among the
team via email or stored in public cloud server. E.g. "Finnish corporate
tax level is deemed less attractive than that of Luxemburg" is
anonymous. However, if it is important to understand who stated this,
then use pseudonymized data in your notes, such as "Interviewee 1 from
company A stated that the Finnish corporate tax level is less attractive
than that of Luxemburg". Please note that pseudonymized data is
considered as personal data because it can be associated with a person.
It thus needs to be treated as personal data (see previous bullet).
Please contact your facilitator and Perttu (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions and we will help you further.More information: