Research Activities Exempt from REB Review
Research that Relies Exclusively on Publicly Available Data
Some research is exempt from REB review because protections are available by other means. Research that relies exclusively on information that is publicly available through a mechanism set out by legislation or regulation and that is protected by law or in the public domain and the individuals to whom the information refers have no reasonable expectation of privacy is exempt from REB review. (Article 2.2)
However, if such data is to be linked with other data sets, then the research activities would require REB review.
Naturalistic Observation in Public Places
Research involving naturalistic observation in public places is exempt from REB review as long as all of the following criteria are met:
1) it does not involve any intervention staged by the researcher,
2) it does not involve direct interaction with the individual or groups,
3) the individuals or groups targeted for observation have no reasonable expectation of privacy and,
4) any dissemination of research results does not allow identification of specific individuals. (Article 2.3)
Research that Relies Exclusively on Secondary Use of Anonymous Information
Research that relies exclusively on secondary use of anonymous information (human or biological) does not require REB review.
Anonymous information is not to be confused with anonymized information. Anonymous refers to research data that never had identifiers (e.g. name, student ID, SIN, email, etc.) associated with it at the point of collection. (Article 2.4)
However, if two or more anonymous data sets are linked and there is a reasonable probability that this linkage could generate identifiable information, then REB review is required.