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Turku University Library

Research Data

What is personal and sensitive data?

Personal data encompasses all data from which a person can be identified either directly or indirectly.

Direct identifiers are considered to be

  • person's full name
  • social security number
  • email address containing the personal name
  • biometric identifiers.

Indirect identifiers are e.g.

  • gender
  • age
  • education
  • professional status
  • nationality
  • location data
  • system log data
  • marital status
  • place of residence.

Information is sensitive if it contains categories of personal data specified in data protection legislation concerning

  • racial or ethnic origin
  • political opinions
  • religion or philosophical beliefs
  • trade union membership
  • data concerning health
  • data concerning sexual life or orientation
  • genetic or biometric data for identifying a natural person.

Other information may also be sensitive by nature.

For more information on personal and sensitive data, see Data management guidelines (Finnish Social Science Data Archive)