1. Confidentiality and data protection

If you have been a participant of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey and you have a question about how the Office for National Statistics (ONS) processes your personal data, or you 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 the study is processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 2018.

We take our responsibilities to keep participants’ personal information secure very seriously. As such, we take every reasonable precaution to ensure their 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 participants’ information and using it properly.

Data protection regulation requires that we state the legal basis for processing participants’ information.

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. Participants’ information is 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 use information from participants and NHS Digital. NHS Digital is the NHS body that looks after all NHS data. We use the minimum personally identifiable information possible.

ONS will keep identifiable information about participants 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

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. They can be contacted by telephone, email or post:

Telephone: +44 303 123 1113

Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

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2. Contact us

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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