Principles of Collecting Sensitive Data

„ECRI [European Commission against Racism and Intolerance] also consistently stresses that such data shall be collected with due respect to the principles of confidentiality, informed consent, the voluntary self-identification of persons as belonging to a particular group, and in close co-operation with all the relevant actors, including civil society organisations.”

ECRI General Policy Recommendation N°11, 2007

The collection of sensitive data is highly controversial, in particular with respect to ethnicity, political belief, sexual orientation, and religion. Any objections to disclose such information are understandable and justified.

However, there might be less resistance to the collection and processing of equality and participation data if there were binding principles in place which are strictly adhered to.

Legal requirements, targeted recommendations, analyses, and prior experiences can result in useful, goal-oriented, pragmatic, and to the surveyed individuals, acceptable means of facilitating the collection of equality data.

This dossier aims to discuss the ideal design of the principles of self-definition, consent, and secure data protection. A solid legal basis is a vital requirement for the collection of equality and participation data. Furthermore, possible, suitable, and targeted categories will be discussed. Finally, the principle of consultating concerned individuals, representatives of community organisations, and other relevant actors will be elaborated on.

© Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. 2018