​Dr Heather Gowans is a Researcher in Law at the Centre for Health Law and Emerging Technologies (HeLEX) at the University of Oxford. Heather qualified as a barrister after obtaining a DPhil at Oxford. She has provided legal support to the ESRC-funded Administrative Data Liaison Service (ADLS) and the Administrative Data Research Network (ADRN) in relation to UK data protection legislation and the legal powers and implications of sharing data; and is actively involved in a collaborative publications team within HeLEX.


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  • J Bell, S Aidinlis, H Smith and H Gowans, 'Balancing data subjects' rights and public interest research: Examining the interplay between UK Law, EU Human Rights Law and the GDPR' (2019) 5 European Data Protection Law Review 43
  • J Kaye, A Phillips, H Gowans and N Shah, 'International Direct-to-Participant (DTP) Genomic Research: The United Kingdom Responses (Country Reports)' (2019) 47 The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 582
  • M Mourby, E Mackey, M Elliot and H Gowans and others, 'Are 'pseudonymised' data always personal data? Implications of the GDPR for administrative data research in the UK' (2018) 34 Computer Law & Security Review: The International Journal of Technology Law and Practice 222
    ISBN: 0267-3649
  • M Elliot, K O'Hara, C Raab and H Gowans and others, 'Functional anonymisation: Personal data and the data environment' (2018) 34 Computer Law & Security Review: The International Journal of Technology Law and Practice 204
    ISBN: 0267-3649
  • J Bell, S Wallace, M Mourby and H Gowans, 'Lawful disclosure of administrative data for research purposes in the UK' (2018) 2 Journal of Data Protection & Privacy
  • H Gowans and J Bell, 'Legal Issues for ADRN Users' (2016) ADRN
  • C Dibben, M Elliot, H Gowans and D Lightfoot, 'The data linkage environment' in K Harron, H Goldstein, C Dibben (ed), Methodical Developments in Data Linkage (Wiley 2016)
    ISBN: 978-1-118-74587-8
  • J Kaye, N Kanellopoulou, N Hawkins and H Gowans, 'Can I access my personal genome? The current legal position in the UK' (2013) 22 Medical Law Review 64
  • N Hawkins, N Kanellopoulou, J Kaye and H Gowans, 'Ownership of Biomedical Information in Biobanks' in G Pascuzzi, U Izzo, M Mailotti (ed), Comparative Issues in the Governance of Research Biobanks (Springer 2013)
    ISBN: 978-3642331152
  • H Gowans, M Elliot, C Dibben and D Lightfoot, 'Accessing and sharing administrative data and the need for data security' (2012) ADLS
  • P Boddington, L Curren, J Kaye and H Gowans and others, 'Consent forms in genomics: the difference between law and practice' (2011) 18 European Journal of Health Law 491
  • L Curren, P Boddington, H Gowans and N Hawkins, 'Identifiability, Genomics and UK Data Protection Law' (2010) 17 European Journal of Health Law 329
  • J Kaye, P Boddington, J De Vries and H Gowans, Ethical, Legal and Social Issues Arising from the Use of GWAS in Medical Research (Wellcome Trust 2009)

Research programmes

Research Interests

Data protection legislation, governance

Research projects

  • ADLS (Administrative Data Liaison Service)
  • ADRN (Administrative Data Research Network)

Research projects