How we access your contact details

In order to contact you about our surveys, we may access your address and phone number from an external source.


For some of our surveys, we obtain addresses at random from the Postcode Address File (PAF). 

These surveys include the:

  • Family Resources Survey (FRS) 

  • Household Assets Survey (HAS) 

  • Living Costs and Food Survey (LCF) 

  • Labour Force Survey (LFS) 

  • Survey on Living Conditions (SLC) 

The PAF contains UK addresses and is leased to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) from Royal Mail.\ The "Small Users File" of the PAF is used by the ONS to draw household survey samples. This file consists of residential addresses and covers approximately 95% of the population.

For more information, see the National Distribution Service's privacy notice

For other surveys, such as the Shape Tomorrow study, we use AddressBase to geographically sample data using Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs).

AddressBase is an Ordnance Survey product. For more information, visit the Ordnance Survey website.

Phone numbers

We carry out many of our studies by telephone.

For the Shape Tomorrow study, we obtain phone numbers from a commercially available source called Sagacity, which provides a facility to match telephone numbers against our sampled addresses.

For some of our studies, we obtain numbers from other government departments, such as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Remove your details from these databases


You can request for your phone number to be supressed from Sagacity's database.

Only the individual the information belongs to can request this. Interviewers cannot do this on behalf of the respondent. 

To do this, make a request for Sagacity to suppress your information.

Department for Work and Pensions

For information about removing your data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) database, see about your rights when DWP uses your information (GOV.UK).

For information on how the DWP process your information, see the DWP's personal information charter (GOV.UK).

You can also request your personal information from the DWP (GOV.UK).


AddressBase only holds your address and an assigned UPRN, it does not hold personal details such as your name.

You cannot make a request to remove yourself from the AddressBase database.

Information we collect from you

Our studies may ask questions about all members of your household and can cover a range of topics. You should make sure that everyone in your household has read this page and the survey materials in full before completing a survey.

These surveys are used to produce statistics on subjects such as:

  - employment

  - education

  - health and well-being

  - housing

As per the Code of Practice for Statistics, you will not be identifiable in any published results.

A researcher may observe your interaction with an interviewer. They may note down details about the interaction that will help us improve our methods to ensure we are as inclusive as possible in our research.

Sharing data

Survey information is sometimes provided to other government departments, approved organisations, and accredited researchers for statistical purposes only.

We sometimes share selected information with our service providers to help us run our surveys. We only share the personal details they need to know, such as your address for delivering letters.

Information we collect during research is not used for marketing purposes, nor will we sell or pass on your information to any third party.

Details of service providers for each survey are provided on our survey information pages. To find the survey information page for the study you are completing, see Find studies about people, families and households.

Your answers

We will keep your answers confidential. 

For online surveys, you will be sent a unique access code that you will need to open the survey. Please keep this access code safe, and only share with people in your household. 

To keep your data secure, survey sections will automatically lock as you progress. This means they can no longer be accessed by yourself or any other member of the household. Once locked, answers cannot be changed.

Data linkage

We may process your data using a method called data linkage.

Data linkage is the process of joining together records about the same person or organisation.

Links (or "matches") can be made by comparing unique "identifier keys" specific to each piece of data we collect. For example, your National Insurance number.

Connecting data in this way can lead to new insights and reduce the need for us to collect more data from you. 

For more information, see our sources of data page.

Storing your data

Your responses to our studies will only be used to produce statistics or undertake statistical research and will be stored separately from your personal data. 

Your participation in our surveys, together with your individual responses to the questions will be kept confidential. 

The results of our research will be anonymous, statistical information only. You will not be identifiable in any published results.

Information security

We take our responsibility to keep your personal data secure very seriously.

As such we take every reasonable precaution to ensure your information is protected from loss, theft, or misuse. These precautions include:

  • appropriate physical security of our offices 

  • controlled access to computer systems 

  • use of secure and encrypted internet connections

Further information

For further information about data protection and your rights, visit our data protection page.

Return to survey

If you have been invited to complete a survey, go to find studies about people, families and households.

Contact us

If you have any queries, want to provide feedback, or need more information, contact us.