1. Confidentiality and data protection

If you have a question about how the Office for National Statistics (ONS) processes your personal data or want to find out more about your rights under data protection legislation, please see the ONS data protection page. All personal data collected as part of this study will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.

We take our responsibilities to keep your personal information secure very seriously. As such, we take every reasonable precaution to ensure your information is protected from loss, theft or misuse. These precautions include appropriate physical security of our offices, controlled access to computer systems and use of secure, encrypted internet connections when collecting personal information.

The University of Oxford and the ONS are the joint data controllers and are responsible for looking after your information and using it properly.

Data protection regulation requires that we state the legal basis for processing information about you.

In the case of the research, the University of Oxford is carrying out this research as "a task in the public interest". More information is available in their privacy notice.

In the case of the research, the ONS is processing this information as it is necessary for us to perform our official function, which is to produce statistics for the public good. Your information will be treated as confidential as directed by the Code of Practice for Statistics. It will only be held for as long as it is being used for producing statistics. Study information may be provided to other approved organisations or researchers for statistical purposes only.

We will be using information from you and NHS Digital. NHS Digital is the NHS body that looks after all NHS data. To do this study, we will use the minimum personally identifiable information possible.

IQVIA and the ONS will keep identifiable information about you from this study for five years after the study has finished.

Our Data Protection Officer is the person charged with providing the ONS with advice and guidance on the ways we can best protect the information we collect and use, and they are involved in all the major decisions we make in relation to personal data. If you have any queries or concerns regarding your data, or wish to exercise any of your rights (see the ONS data protection page), then please contact the Data Protection team by email or post:

Email: DPO@statistics.gov.uk

Data Protection Officer
Office for National Statistics
Segensworth Road
PO15 5RR

If you would like to exercise your data protection rights via the telephone, please contact our Customer Contact Centre, providing details of your request and email and, or, written address details. They will then be able to pass this over to the Data Protection team to action and respond.

Customer Contact Centre telephone: 0345 601 3034

The Information Commissioner's Office is the independent body tasked with regulating data protection within the UK. They can provide you with additional information regarding data protection and your rights, and will deal with any complaints you may have regarding our use of your data and may be contacted by telephone, email or post:

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

Email: casework@ico.org.uk

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

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2. Sharing data with others

We sometimes share selected information with our service providers to help us run our studies. We only share the personal details they need to know. To find out more about each service provider's commitment while they are handling your information, please visit their websites.

In this study, we work with other organisations to provide the following services:

  • sending a thank you gift: our service provider for this is Sodexo
  • helping us get in touch: our service providers for this are HH Global (letters) and GoInspire (emails)
  • IQVIA and Capita will be responsible for registering participants
  • IQVIA will be arranging testing windows, managing participants taking their own nose and throat swabs and taking their own blood samples; the IQVIA privacy notice and Capita privacy notice are available on their websites
  • Government approved laboratories are responsible for storing and processing the nose and throat swabs
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4. Contact us

To register for the study, call the number in the letter that was sent to you.

Contact centre opening times are:

Monday to Thursday – 9:00am to 9:00pm

Friday – 9:00am to 8:00pm

Saturday and Sunday – 9:00am to 5:00pm

0800 085 6807 – English language number

0800 917 9323 – Rhif ffôn Cymraeg, Welsh language number

If you have any further questions on the COVID-19 Infection Survey (CIS), you can send an email to COVID-19@ons.gov.uk.

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