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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Centre for Law, Internet and Culture (iCLIC)

The present and future of data mining and data sharing in the EU – 23 September 2016 Event

Big Data
13:30 - 17:30
23 September 2016
85 / 2207, Highfield Campus, University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please email Ferrelyn Tugwell at .

Event details

The promise of data mining on big data is that it will be possible to significantly improve decision-making processes as regards a wide range of activities (e.g. in the health, transport, education sectors), as well as to allow policy-makers to make predictions on how public and private actors behave and eventually adopt strategies and adapt services.



Keynote: Julia Reda MEP (Member of the European Parliament)

Data mining and data sharing practices are constrained by at least two sets of key legal rules: copyright and data protection rules.

For the future development and flourishing of mature practices, it becomes pressing to comprehend fully the implications of these rules both at the EU and at national levels. This is even more true if proposals are being put forward and adopted by policy makers in this field, while criticisms are starting to surface pointing to the over-restrictiveness of these rules.

By way of example, despite the recent adoption in the UK of a text and data mining exception (for copyright), its scope remains limited. This could be explained by the restrictive approach adopted by the EU in the InfoSoc Directive (Directive 2001/29). This might also be the reason why the EU Commission appears tempted to introduce an ad hoc exception for text and data mining at the EU level, as it recently highlighted both in its Digital Single Market Strategy (May 2015) and Communication Towards a more modern, more European copyright framework (December 2015). Public stances taken by some publishers combined with the relative silence of the research community also partly explain the situation. Yet, such a restrictive approach does not appear straightforward when compared to the stance adopted by the EU in the proposed General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), where e.g. there is no distinction between commercial and non-commercial research.

As regards the processing of personal data for research purposes (irrespective of copyright issues), it is still unclear what the implications of the data minimisation principle should be and the effects of pseudonymisation (to be distinguished from anonymisation).

The purpose of this workshop is to address the following questions:

  • Do funding institutions provide sufficient incentives to ensure the flourishing of sharing practices within the research community?
  • To what extent are copyright and data protection laws restricting the development of data mining and data sharing practices?
  • What is the exact leeway granted by the InfoSoc Directive as regards the adoption by Member States of a text and data mining exception? Does the EU need a new, ad hoc exception?
  • Are data mining practices as further processing always compatible with the prior processing of personal data?
  • Is pseudonymisation sufficient to safeguard the making of further mining of personal data lawful?
  • How to define the appropriate data situation for the sharing of research data?

Representatives of the European Parliament, the ODI and Jisc will be present, as well as academics and practising lawyers and data scientists. Academics from any disciplines with an interest in these topics are encouraged to attend.


Organisers: Sophie Stalla-Bourdillon, Eleonora Rosati and Micheál Ó Floinn

For more information regarding this event, please email  and by 1 July 2016.

This workshop has received the support of Bileta and the Computer Law and Security Review.

Speaker information

Julia Reda,Member of the European Parliament,MEP

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