A brief introduction to copyright, ethics and consent

2. Ethics

Data collected during research can hold personal, sensitive or confidential information.  Often historians do not have to worry about this as many of the people and events they study occurred beyond anyone still living.  That is not always the case, however, especially with historians focused on the twentieth or twenty-first centuries.  Even when dealing with ages before this, some degree of thought might be necessary regarding ethics and consent.

The Managing and Sharing Data booklet from the UK Data Archive list as definitions the differences between personal data; confidential data; and sensitive personal data.  This is well worth reading and taking on-board as it will be useful to you whenever you come across information that may or may not fall under these categories.

From the Managing and Sharing Data booklet (p. 23)