Your data and security : What we do with your information

The personal information you put on your census is only used for statistical purposes. Our statistics do not contain any information that will allow you or anyone you live with to be identified. Personal information includes things like your name, date of birth and address.

We ask for names and dates of birth to help us make sure we only count each person once.

Your personal census information cannot be used by government

Only carefully selected and approved staff can see your personal census information. Approved staff use the information for statistical purposes only.

Your personal census information cannot be seen or used by:

  • anyone who makes decisions about you or any services that you get
  • anyone making decisions about your residency applications or immigration status
  • anyone making decisions about individual services, such as taxes and benefits
  • anyone wanting to find you or sell you anything - your personal information can't be sold to third parties
  • anyone enforcing the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions or from NHS Test and Trace

All our systems, staff and suppliers, and the way we do things follow strict government standards, and your confidentiality is protected by law. It’s a crime for anyone to share personal census information unless required or permitted by law.

This animated video talks about what the census is and how your personal information is protected when you take part. The video explains what happens to the information you provide after you submit your census form.

The animation also explains how the Office for National Statistics (ONS) may use other sources of information alongside census information. We protect these in the same way as we protect the information you provide in the census. The video then describes how organisations use the statistics to support local services in your area. It also describes how your participation can help your community get the services it needs.