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Privacy notice

Little is known about public attitudes towards sentencing in Scotland, or the level of awareness amongst the general public of the circumstances that are considered in deciding a sentence for a crime. The Scottish Sentencing Council are funding research to explore public perceptions of the sentencing in Scotland relating to death by dangerous driving offences and sexual offences.

This privacy notice explains how your personal data collected through the focus groups are used and handled.

For the purposes of the research, Scottish Sentencing Council is the data controller. The legal basis for collecting this information is legitimate interest. ScotCen Social Research processes data on behalf of the Scottish Sentencing Council and is the data processor.

How we got your details

When you completed the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey in 2017, you gave consent to be re-contacted about new research conducted by ScotCen. We are contacting you for this study as we thought this topic may be of interest to you.

What happens to the information you provide

The personal data you provide in participating in a focus group will be treated with care and with full respect for your privacy.  The information you provide will be treated confidentially. The information is used for research purposes only and is dealt with in accordance with data protection legislation.  We will not publish the research results in a form that can reveal your identity.

Your name and any personal details will be stored securely. ScotCen will not pass your personal details to anybody without your permission.

Only the project team will have access to your personal data, and your data will not be shared with any third parties.

How long your information is stored for

All focus group responses are stored securely and confidentially under the terms of data protection legislation. The transcripts will be stored by ScotCen Social Research for 12 months after the end of the project. They will then be securely destroyed.

Your rights

Taking part in a focus group is voluntary. You are free to withdraw at any time without consequence, and you do not have to answer any of the questions.

Data protection legislation gives rights to individuals in respect of the personal data that organisations hold about them. These include the right to:

  • access a copy of the information an organisation holds about them;
  • object to processing that is likely to cause or is causing damage or distress;
  • prevent processing for direct marketing;
  • object to decisions being taken by automated means;
  • have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed in certain circumstances; and
  • claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the legislation.

We guard your privacy

We will treat the information you give us in the strictest confidence under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The results collected are used for research purposes only. No one looking at the findings in the report will be able to identify you in any way. You will never receive any junk mail as a result of speaking to us. We never pass on your details to other organisations for commercial purposes.

How to contact us

To find out more about the research, or project as a whole, please contact us by email or call 0131 240 0210.


If you have questions or concerns about how your personal data is collected or used, or if you believe we have not complied with your data protection rights you can contact NatCen’s Data Protection Officer by email at

You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office. If you are unhappy with the way your personal data is being processed, you can report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at or by calling the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113.