Speech data and privacy regulation in Europe

Martti Vainio

In Europe the privacy has been recognized as a fundamental right already for decades (Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, European Convention on Human Rights 1950). The protection of personal data was, as a separate right, granted to an individual for the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (1981). The European Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC) came in to force 1995 and is implemented in EU member states through national laws.

According to the Data Protection Directive, the ‘personal data’ shall mean any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person. Information collected during video recordings, interviews etc. activities typically includes data, which directly or indirectly permit the identification of individuals. By that definition even a picture of your car can be a ‘personal data’!

Implementing the regulations of the privacy and data protection legislations is not easy in field of the collecting and storing language materials. These questions are even more complicated in the area of computational social science. In this presentation some of the problems are introduce and few guidelines to act in accordance with privacy and data protection legislation are given.