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Privacy notice

Who is collecting my data?

NatCen Social Research is Britain’s largest independent social research agency. For nearly 50 years, we have been working with charities, universities and government to find out what people really think about the big issues. NatCen is independent of all government departments and political parties.

Why are you contacting me?

The NatCen Panel is an exciting research project, funded by charities, universities and public bodies, which follows approximately 9,500 people in England, Scotland and Wales. The aim is to provide a truly representative picture of Britain. By taking part you’ll be making your opinion on important issues count and ensuring that your views, and the views of people like you, are represented.

What data is being collected?

We ask questions about a variety of topics - from housing and politics, to health and happiness - with the aim of seeking to help charities, universities and government better understand what is going on in Britain today. To help with analysis, we ask for some information classed as sensitive personal data, such as ethnicity. Participation is entirely voluntary and you can skip individual questions if you prefer. To help us administer the surveys, we collect information such as the type of device with which you access our questionnaires online. On occasion we may ask your permission to link your survey answers to other data, for instance held by government departments – but only with your permission and only ever for research purposes.

How does the NatCen Panel keep data safe?

All the information we collect is held in accordance with current data protection legislation (GDPR).  All information you provide to us is stored on our secure servers.  We use strict procedures and security features to prevent unauthorised access. NatCen holds ISO27001 and Cyber Essentials Plus certifications.

What will you do with the information I give?

The information you give will be used for research purposes only. Most of the results will appear as percentages and statistics - we will not identify your individual opinion in the results without seeking your direct permission. Anonymised data may be lodged with the UK Data Service for use by bone fide researchers. It will not be possible for anyone to identify you from this information. Sometimes we will analyse your answers together with answers you gave to previous questionnaires to help us to understand things like how people’s views are changing over time.

Will my contact information be shared with anyone else?

We will never share your contact details with third parties, including government, charities or commercial companies for marketing purposes.  If there was a legitimate research purpose for sharing contact details or identifiable information, we would only do so with your direct permission.

How long will the information I give be held?

All your personal details will be held for a period of 10 years, in accordance with current data protection legislation (GDPR). Under this legislation, NatCen is the “Data Controller” and we hold your information on the basis of ‘Legitimate Interest’ because our research aims to tell people in government, charities and universities what people really think. The anonymised datasets - on the basis of “Public Interest” - will be kept indefinitely, as they will continue to be useful to researchers and policy makers.

Will I have access to my data?

Once data is aggregated, pseudonymised, anonymised or survey results have been published, we would not be able to change the results by removing individual information. However, you have the right to request access to your data, to amend it if it is incorrect, or to ask for it to be deleted.

What if I change my mind about taking part?

You are under no obligation take part in any questionnaire. Participation is completely voluntary – it’s your choice. You can change your mind at any point about taking part.

Any questions?

If you have any questions you can contact us on Freephone 0800 652 4569 or by emailing panel@natcen.ac.uk.

You can also contact the NatCen Data Protection Officer by email: dpo@natcen.ac.uk.

If you wish to lodge a complaint you can email panel@natcen.ac.uk or call Freephone 0800 652 4569. You can also contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

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