Safeguarded and secure data tables

Some tables of aggregated census data which serve a purpose in the public interest but do not satisfy our confidentiality requirements for public release may sometimes be released to researchers under controlled conditions.

Depending on the risk of personal information being revealed, the table may be released through a safeguarded or secure channel.  Secure release provides a higher level of protection for more detailed or higher risk tables.

This applies particularly to detailed travel flow data showing the characteristics of people who travel to work or study between areas, or who migrated between areas in the year before the census. However, other types of tabular data which are not suitable for public release may be considered for safeguarded or secure release.

Tables for safeguarded release

Safeguarded tables can be downloaded by the data user for use on their own computer system, subject to access restrictions.

Some pre-built UK-wide safeguarded tables are available to academic and public sector researchers by application through the UK Data Service, for a specific, not-for-profit research purpose and subject to the UK Data Service’s End User licence.

Results are subject to Statistical Disclosure Control rules which must be applied by the data user.

Custom made safeguarded tables may be shared directly with researchers under a time-limited Data Sharing Agreement specifying who can access the data, how the data should be stored, what the data may be used for and when the data must be deleted. Results are subject to Statistical Disclosure Control checks by a member of NRS staff.

Tables for secure release

Researchers can apply to access secure tables in a secure research facility for a specific research project.

Researchers can only access secure tables when all of the following apply:

  • The data will only be used for research purposes
  • The data will not be used for automated decision-making
  • The data do not contain direct identifiers
  • All researchers have been trained to handle personal data safely and appropriately
  • The researchers can only access the data inside a Safe Setting, such as an ADRC-S Safe Setting or the ONS Secure Research Facility
  • Results are subject to Statistical Disclosure Control checks
  • A time-limited Data Sharing Agreement is in place between NRS and the researchers (except for pre-built tables already available through the ONS Secure Research Facility).