Digitising education & research

The education sector has been rapidly digitising. Distance education and online testing (proctoring) have become commonplace. What does this mean for education? How do we handle pupils’ and students’ data carefully? Education should have an appropriate response to this.

Research is necessary for society. Without research there is no innovation, no insight or progress. Ideally, some researchers would like to go about their business unhindered. Such an approach can call research into question. After all, what if this violates rights? Responsible, ethical, research is a must. Easier said than done – but, it can be done!

Food for thought

AI and research

AI is useful for researchers. For example, using machine learning and text analysis to automatically analyse thousands of Tweets for sentiment. However, AI and its algorithms are not neutral. There can be (unintentional) bias. How do we monitor an ethical process?

Research with public data

Data available on the internet is not outlawed but protected by privacy laws. These must be respected. May we scrape the internet to train our large language model? What are the FAIR principles? Legal Beetle helps design responsible research.

Research with special personal data

Special categories of personal data, such as health data, contain valuable information. For example, about the course of patients’ illnesses. Extra strict rules apply to this, in addition to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This makes sense, as the patient’s interests come first. Data solidarity is nice, but how to regulate this?

Does our supplier meet the requirements?

Software is needed to perform teaching tasks. Building your own is an option, but this requires investment. Fortunately, there are IT suppliers who respond to this, with handy software. But do their software packages comply with the law? Is privacy by design properly applied? Do the terms of delivery comply?

Distance learning

Zoom, MS Teams, Google Meet and WebEx meetings. Useful tools for communicating with each other online. But, did you know that in many cases, this brings privacy-sensitive data into the US? And that this is not allowed just like that? This needs to be properly sorted out. For instance, in a transfer impact assessment (TIA).

Joost Gerritsen - AI, Data & Privacy Lawyer at Legal Beetle

Lawyer-researcher Joost Gerritsen knows better than anyone what is important for researchers.

My publications and presentations

Joost publishes on the education and research sector. He always does so with an eye on practice. That way, educators and researchers can get something out of it.


Utrecht University (2021)

Tactful non-contact research – Guide for GDPR-compliant researchers



Rathenau Institute (2020)

Data solidarity for health



The education and research sectors are happy to submit legal work to Joost Gerritsen of Legal Beetle. For example, for carrying out a data protection impact assessment (DPIA) or setting up a research plan. Moreover, Joost conducts research himself.


Data Protection Impact Assessments

With over 100 DPIAs conducted, Joost helps you comply with the GDPR requirement to prepare a data protection impact. A must for data controllers, useful for processors with a passion for privacy.



Joost provides legal research at an academic level. Perfect for organisations like governments that need a foundation for their vision. Or for organisations that want to know what is coming their way. Think of research on artificial intelligence (AI), robotics or nudging.


Procurement assistance

How does your procurement department know if a software provider or developer is virtuous? Avoid misses and engage Joost to assist your buyers.


Privacy statements

Joost writes clear no-nonsense privacy statements. Has to be, because this information has to be clear to everyone.

Responsible research and careful teaching, that’s what Joost is all about.

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