Note on ethics and personal data protection for the Norwegian Citizen Panel

This is a note to aid those that need information on IRB approval or similar for publishing in scientific journals.

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The Norwegian Citizen Panel deals with human subjects and follows the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). According to this, we have conducted a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA), which is approved by the University of Bergen. The DPIA was conducted in cooperation with what is now named Sikt – Norwegian Agency for Shared Services in Education and Research. The DPIA number is 118868.

In addition, the Scientific Committee of the Norwegian Citizen Panel reviews all questions that are to be fielded in the NCP, reviewing based on ethical issues, scientific issues, and on how the questions will impact the respondent. 

A separate IRB approval is not necessary in Norway, but the NCP data adheres to national and university-level ethical standards.

Invitations to the panel are drawn from the national population registry, where data processing follows GDPR article 6, no. 1, letter e (necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller), and article 9 n. 2 letter j (necessary for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) based on Union or Member State law which shall be proportionate to the aim pursued, respect the essence of the right to data protection and provide for suitable and specific measures to safeguard the fundamental rights and the interests of the data subject).

Further participation in the panel is by provided written consent, and the respondents' data are always treated confidentially. They shall be anonymous in all publicly available data and publications. The information the respondents receive can be found here.

Participants receive no payment for participating, but in each wave there is a lottery, where three people win a travel gift card valued at 8000 NOK.

The Norwegian Citizen Panel is financed by the University of Bergen (UiB), the data are provided by the UiB, prepared and made available by a subcontractor (Ideas2Evidence), and distributed by the UiB and Sikt (Norwegian Agency for Shared Services in Education and Research).

To learn more about the data and documentation, go to this page.