Legal Questions in Data Science

To keep up with growing possibilities of data collection and processing, laws and regulations have been changing in recent years. This relatively new and therefore often unknown legal situation may cause uncertainties and affect data driven research. Researchers may wonder how privacy regulations can restrict the processing of their data and which data they can share according to copyright law.

The tools and information on this site help you navigate through the jungle of copyright and privacy law, allowing you to focus on the essential: scientific research.

interactive Virtual Assistant: iVA

Data protection and copyright are two crucial issues with regard to the exchange and (further) use of research data in business, economics and the social sciences. At the same time, dealing with applicable legal regulations is often not one of the core competences of data users.
At BERD, we are developing an interactive Virtual Assistant (iVA), a stand-alone online workshop that supports data users in finding access to the basic legal regulations.

Privacy law is intransparent and incomprehensible? Not necessarily. Our interactive Virtual Assistant (iVA) helps you understand the basics of data protection and explore the legal options for data use.

With specific questions and well-portioned bites of information, iVA guides you through a decision tree. It does not only present theoretical knowledge, but provides you with information that you can apply directly to your own data project.

Currently, iVA is only available in German but we are already working on an English version.

iVA was developed as part of the project BERD@BW funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of Baden-Württemberg from 2019 to 2022.

Applicability of the GDPR

iVA 1 shows you if the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies to your research data.

Start here

Consent as legal basis

iVA 2 helps you identify what you have to keep in mind to get a lawful consent for data processing.

Start here

…other legal bases

We are currently working on iVA 3, which is going to teach you the requirements of lawfully processing personal data without consent of the data subjects.


We are currently working on a collection of answers to your most frequent legal questions around Data Science.