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Disclosure Control Policy for Social Survey Microdata


Social survey microdata provide a valuable research tool for a wide range of users and uses.

Therefore, in accordance with Principle 1 of the UK Statistics Authority Code of Practice for Official Statistics (CoP), microdata files of different degrees of disclosiveness are made available to other government departments and to academic and other researchers.

This policy provides guidance on releasing microdata in accordance with the CoP and specifically Principle 5: Confidentiality.

The policy also conforms to the Statistics and Registration Service Act (2007), and specifically to Section 39 of the Act.

The main section of the Policy discusses the implication of the CoP and SRSA for releasing microdata and includes examples of good practice within ONS.

Appendix 1 contains detailed guidance on preparing microdata so that it is neither personal nor private information.

Further appendices contain reference information.

This document has been approved as GSS Policy by the GSS Statistical Policy and Standards Committee.

Any queries or comments should be sent to Keith Spicer: or Carole Abrahams:

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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