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European Centre for Algorithmic Transparency
ECAT at CPDP to talk data access

At this year's Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference, taking place in Brussels on 22-24 May, ECAT convened a panel on researcher access to data through the Digital Services Act (DSA). Article 40 of the regulation sets out how researchers can access the data of very large online platforms and search engines (VLOPs and VLOSEs) to study systemic risks and the effectiveness of mitigation measures, under certain conditions.

The panel focused on how researchers can approach data security and confidentiality requirements to get data access requests approved, and how collaboration with national Digital Services Coordinators (DSCs) and providers can facilitate this process. The panellists were:

  • Veronique Cimina, Legal Officer, DG Connect, European Commission
  • Paddy Leerssen, Postdoctoral Researcher, Institute for Information Law, University of Amsterdam 
  • Kathy Messmer, Project Director, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung 
  • Claudia Canelles Quaroni, Senior Policy Manager, CCIA 
  • Kirsty Park, Assistant Director of Research, An Coimisiún Na Meán (Irish DSC)

The lively discussion, chaired by ECAT’s Lead Scientist, Emilia Gomez, covered much ground. From the need for civil society to pool resources to truly understand and comply with data protection requirements, to the industry plea to ensure consistency across national DSCs, to the rapid upscaling currently happening at DSCs in order to be able to deal with requests – the panel explored DSA data access from the perspective of many of the key players.

For the full range of insights, you can watch the recording of the discussion below. You can also find our data access FAQs here.