New lawyer at Health: GDPR rules must not impede research

Louise Marie Blichfeldt is the new legal advisor in the Faculty Secretariat at Health. She brings extensive experience in handling and implementing the EU's complex data protection regulations, which have long posed challenges for health research.

Louise Marie Blichfeldt is the faculty's new legal advisor. Photo: Simon Fischel, AU Health

Louise Marie Blichfeldt assumed her position as Health's new legal advisor on May 1st in the Victor Albeck Building.

She graduated with a law degree from Aarhus University in 2016, after which she moved to Copenhagen and joined the Danish National Police's data protection unit. There, she played a central role in implementing the EU's data protection regulations.

"It was an exciting time, where I had the opportunity to advise a large organization and ensure compliance with GDPR rules," she says.

Fewer frictions with GDPR

It's no secret that health researchers have struggled for years with the complex and often restrictive GDPR regulations.

The various interpretations of the data protection regulation, in particular, have been a major challenge, causing delays and, in some cases, even stopping research projects.

The prospect of helping the university ensure smoother handling of GDPR was what appealed to Louise Marie Blichfeldt.

"What attracted me to this position was the opportunity to work with data protection in a new context, and I want to help ensure that the rules do not hinder the important research happening here," she says.

Experience in the health sector

The health sector is not unfamiliar to Health's new legal advisor. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she was seconded to the Statens Serum Institut, where she helped navigate the complex data protection rules related to the collection of large amounts of personal data.

Louise Marie Blichfeldt sees her role as finding flexible and long-term solutions to the challenges posed by the data protection regulation, and a significant part of her work will be balancing the development of overarching guidelines and supporting individual researchers and projects. She hopes researchers will find that she is working to find the best solutions for them.

"Researchers should be able to work without too many obstacles, and it is important for me to be pragmatic and find solutions that best support research. I will be working on developing overarching guidelines at the faculty level, but also assisting the departments with their daily questions," she says.

Visiting the departments 

In addition to data protection, Louise Marie Blichfeldt will also support the departments in handling requests for access to documents, which the faculty often receives from journalists and media.

Here too, she can draw on previous experience and extensive knowledge of administrative law.

"I have worked a lot with access to documents during my time with the Danish National Police and have also been an external lecturer in administrative law at the University of Copenhagen, and I look forward to advising the institutes in this area," says Louise Marie Blichfeldt.

Although she has only been in her position for a short time, Louise Marie Blichfeldt has already planned a tour of all the faculty's departments – both to introduce herself and to gain a better understanding of their specific needs.

"Overall, I hope to build a good relationship with the staff so that they know they can always reach out to me for help."


Legal Advisor, Louise Marie Blichfeldt
Aarhus University, Administration center Health
Phone: 22385368