Tell us whether you accept cookies

We use cookies to collect information about how you use We use this information to make the website work as well as possible and improve our services.

You have accepted all additional cookies. You have rejected all additional cookies. You can change your cookie preferences at any time.

Skip to main content

Your data and security : Overview

By filling in the census, you played 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 who makes decisions about you or any services that you get. This includes things like taxes, benefits, residency applications or immigration status.

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

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

This video explains how we keep census data and personal information safe and secure.

Transcript of the How does the Office for National Statistics (ONS) secure my data? video

Watch an archived version of the "Census 2021 | How does the Office for National Statistics secure my data?" video (opens in a new tab) 

Independent Security Review

At the 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 (opens in a new tab)  on the ONS website.