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Showing posts from October, 2014

This is my brain: sharing the risk

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At a recent meeting at Leiden we talked about many issues related to data sharing. Previously I've been covering how to incentivise scientists to share data through data papers on this blog, but during that meeting we also discussed ethical issues. When we are collecting data about our participants (whether those are behavioural measures or MRI scans) we take responsibility for it. We make a pledge that we will make whatever we can to protect the identity of our subjects.

This is easier if we do not share data. Because fewer people have access to the data the likelihood of someone finding a method to connects brain scans to a particular person are lower. In reality this could be done either through a security breach (someone hacking the university network and obtaining the list of participants and their anonymous IDs) or by combining multiple datasets about one person to obtain enough details to be able to identify a person (this however applies only to participants taking part in…