Dealing with Sensitive Data

If sensitive data (mainly special personal data) are collected in research projects, researchers have a special responsibility to protect them accordingly.

Collection of support in dealing with sensitive data

Data Protection

Law and Data Protection, Department of Data Protection Law

The Department of Data Protection Law supports researchers in complying with data protection regulations at the UZH. A tool for self-assessment of research projects is currently being developed.

Clinical Trials Center USZ
The team Data Management of the Clinical Trials Center of the USZ supports medical researchers in handling their research data. It helps to use the (commercial) study tools secuTrial and REDCap to correctly record and archive project data.

Data Protection Officer of the Canton of Zurich
Further information on data protection in the Canton of Zurich.


Ethics Commission of the Faculty of Philosophy

Procedures for the ethical evaluation of research projects are currently implemented at three faculties. Parts of these procedures are integrated into the tool for self-assessment of research projects.

Faculty of Philosophy: The Ethics Commission of the PhF offers researchers the possibility to evaluate studies involving research with and on humans with regard to their ethical harmlessness.

  • For this purpose, a checklist is available with which one can evaluate whether the study requires an ethics proposal on the basis of twelve questions.
  • In addition, the Ethics Committee has drawn up a guideline on how the procedure for examining ethical applications is regulated.

Faculty of Economics: A similar procedure exists at the WWF. For further information please contact the head of the ethics committee, Prof. Michel Maréchal.

Faculty of Medicine: The Institute for Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine assesses research projects on the basis of the "Checklist for the Ethics Review Process of Empirical Studies not Requiring Approval" (CEBES). This checklist largely corresponds to the procedures of the other two faculties, but also includes information on whether a study should be submitted to the Cantonal Ethics Commission.

Cantonal Ethics Commission KEK

The Cantonal Ethics Commission (KEK) assesses research projects from all areas of human research. It checks compliance with the guidelines of the Human Research Act.


Science IT (S3IT)

S3IT offers IT support to researchers, such as consulting on the management and processing of research data, as well as support in accessing computing and storage systems. As a collaboration partner, S3IT can also be involved in the development of project-specific research infrastructures.

IT Security (Strategic IT Management)
The IT Security Office represents the interests of the University vis-à-vis Internet operators. It is responsible for the general monitoring of the university network, in particular with regard to the search for security deficiencies (vulnerabilities). It proposes security measures and makes security recommendations. Contact this office if you have security concerns due to certain incidents and irregularities.

Courses and Workshops

The Graduate Campus of the UZH regularly offers courses on the handling of sensitive data.
Online Course Research Integrity
Course Ethics Training

Policies and Guidelines

Guidelines and security rules of Central Informatics
On its website, the Zentrale Informatik (Central Informatics Office) compiles information and advice on all aspects of IT security. In addition to regulations such as REIM ("Reglement über den Einsatz von Informatikmitteln", English translation: regulations on the use of IT resources), you will also find a summary of the use of IT resources, data and social media.
Guideline of the Central Informatics