The European Comission is currently preparing a new legal framework to govern the protection of personal data. As European regulations may be loosely defined, it is expected that there might be too much room for interpretation, especially across international boundaries. This change would directly affect research projects, not only in terms of data use, but also these projects may incur additional cost and time due to additional consent requirement.

Professor Jan-Eric Litton, director-general of BBMRI-ERIC, recently submitted a Column in Nature encouraging the scientific community to become involved in this new framework by generating a formal and understandable code of conduct for the researchers in order to dissipate any fears and more importantly enhance data sharing.
Since European Union regulations are due to enter into force next year, BBMRI-ERIC will hold an event with specialists and stakeholders to kick-start discussions and develop such codes of conduct.