Data access policy

The UK Data Service is implementing a generic, three tier access policy. The three tiers are:

These categories are generic because they combine modes of access and conditions of use, and there are likely to be overlaps and differences between the three major categories.


Open data
Safeguarded data

Data licensed for use in the 'safeguarded' category are not personal, but the data owner considers there to be a risk of disclosure resulting from linkage to other data, such as private databases.

'Safeguarded' is currently the Office for National Statistics’s preferred term for data which we provide under the UK Data Service’s End User Licence (EUL).

The safeguards include knowing who is using the data and for what purpose. The EUL outlines the restrictions on use for a particular data collection.

Safeguarded data may have additional conditions attached such as:

  • special agreements
  • depositor permission
  • limited to non-commercial or academic users
  • data destruction clauses
  • specific forms of citation

Safeguarded data require registration/authentication. The UK Data Service is working towards reducing the information collected from users in these processes.


Controlled data

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