1. Preparing a DMP
2. Documenting and Organizing Data
3. Storing Data and Data Security
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External/Cloud Storage

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) only permits personal data to be stored within the EU, unless:

  • participants officially consent to the data being stored in another country
  • there are adequate and equivalent levels of data protection in place (e.g. the US/EU Privacy Shield agreement).

You should always assess whether you really need to store your data abroad and if agreements with the supplier pennit you to do so. If data needs to be stored outside the EU, information sheets and consent forms should explain why this is necessitated.

Using a cloud service to store files has many advantages. You can access your files from any computer with an intemet connection and in case of a computer crash or theft, your files are not lost. Moreover, it is often possible to recover earlier versions of files and you can easily share files or folders with others. Usually, there is no physical limit on the required storage space as a pay-per-use model is often used. If you need more {or less) storage in a certain period, the pricing can be adjusted.

You can choose a cloud storage service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive or Box. However, there are certain risks involved in using a public cloud storage service:

  • Storage of data is not guaranteed to take place in Europe. This may mean that others – for example, security services such as the American National Security Agency (NSA) – have access to your files. Also, you do not comply with the General Data Protection Regulation;
  • There is no guarantee that the cloud service provider will remain available. What happens to your files if the company is taken over or ceases to exist?
  • The conditions of use of a public cloud storage service may include stipulations which give the provider undesired rights {of ownership) to the stored files;
  • Leaks in the security of the storage service may be discovered.

You could also consider securing your files by means of encryption. Data security is explained in a different lesson in this course.