Your data and security : Overview

By filling in the census questionnaire, you can play your part in building a picture of us all. This helps decide how services are planned and funded in your local area.

Keeping your data safe

The safety of your information is our top priority. You cannot be identified in the statistics we publish. The personal information you give us is protected by law.

Personal information is any information that could allow you to be identified, for example your name, address or date of birth. We do not share this with anyone.

Your census record is kept secure for 100 years and only then can it be seen by future generations.

Everyone working on the census signs the Census Confidentiality Undertaking. This includes people working for the census offices and for our suppliers. It’s a crime for them to unlawfully share personal census information.

We have a strict security regime that follows government standards. This includes physical and IT security measures to protect your information.

All our systems, staff and suppliers must protect your confidentiality by law. Laws in place that cover protection of your data include the:

  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Census Act 1920
  • Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007

We follow the law to the letter.

To find out more about how we keep your data safe, visit the ONS website.

Independent Security Review

At the Office for National Statistics (ONS), we want you to be confident that all the information we collect during Census 2021 is safe and secure.

To support this, we, and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), commissioned an independent review of our security arrangements.

You can read the Census 2021 Independent Information Assurance Review on the ONS website.