Listen, I Need GDPR-Proof Test Data NOW!

W13     Start Time : 14:15     End Time : 14:45

GDPR suggest the only kind of testdata that is GDPR-proof is synthetic, fictional data. So, that’s what we proposed as the solution for the Dutch Railways (NS). It took quite a while before this approach was finally official policy, whereas other solutions were ultimately much cheaper and less time-consuming. Our biggest opponent, the Data & Analytics department, turned out to be our biggest supporter. With our technical solution we do not only offer GDPR-proof testdata, it ‘s our improvements in the process of development that satisfies and convinces:

  • testdata can be picked up fully automatically with only one click, quite uniquely
  • testdata can be picked up any time, not necessarily once or twice a year for all the company to assure consistency in the chain
  • the cheapest, fastest way to produce synthetic testdata is using api’s (not diving into databases)
  • while developing our scripts for the applications we also build up a ‘mini’-Dutch Railways, ultimately the only source for all testdata
  • the flexibility and actuality that offers our solution fits much better into Agility and Continuous Development.


Out Test-environment is GDPR-proof, for 2020 our Accept (and Development)-environments are planned to be done, by our TDM team in cooperation with the business-teams. It was a long road from gaining awareness back then to get this far now, but we like our present viewpoint.

Key Takeaways:

  1. One click to get testdata helps development and continuous development
  2. Synthetic, fictional testdata is not more costly when api’s are available
  3. It’s quite complex to get testdata with one click to load in any suitable environment with different versions of an application


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  • Speaker

  • Stijn van den Brand - ICT Manager, NS (Dutch Railways), Netherlands

    Stijn van den Brand is working as a domain manager and MT-member of the Test Competence Center at Dutch Railways (NS). The TCC is responsible for the test capacity across more than half of the company. Furthermore Stijn leads the Artificial Intelligence expert group at the innovation platform of NS.

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