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Privacy notice

This privacy notice explains how your personal data (e.g. any information that could identify you) collected for the purposes of this research are used and handled.

Why is this data being collected?

The COVID-19 Support Study has been designed to explore the experiences of those asked to self-isolate as part of Scotland’s Test and Protect strategy.
We are inviting those who have tested positive for COVID-19, those who have come into contact with another person who tested positive and individuals who have arrived in Scotland after travelling outside of the UK to take part.

Who is the data controller?

The Scottish Government is the data controller which means that they decide what personal data is collected from you as part of this research. They will not be provided with access to data that can identify you.
You can contact the Scottish Government’s Data Protection and Information Assets Team using the details below:
Data Protection and Information Assets Team
V Spur, Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
EH11 3XD
All requests will be responded to within one month.

Who is the data processor?

ScotCen is a part of NatCen Social Research, Britain’s leading centre for independent social research. Based in Edinburgh, we have over a decade’s experience of listening to the public and making sure their voice is heard. We are a non-profit organisation, independent of all government departments and political parties.

While the study has been commissioned by the Scottish Government, ScotCen are an independent non-profit research body, independent of all government departments, Test and Protect/ Protect Scotland and Public Health Scotland.

ScotCen Social Research is the data processor, which means that ScotCen will be responsible for collecting information from you during an interview, securely storing it and using it to write a report on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Please see ‘What will happen to my data?’ for more information on how your data will be treated.

What is the lawful basis for processing this data?

The legal basis for collecting this information is ‘public task’ which means it is being collected to aid the functioning of government.

What will happen to my data?

Taking part is completely up to you and you can skip any questions you do not wish to answer.

Your personal data will only be used for research and statistical purposes. This means you will never receive any sales or marketing calls as a result of taking part in the study.

No information that could make a person identifiable will be shared outside of ScotCen and it will not be possible to identify you in any published results. Only the research team at ScotCen will have access to your personal data and just for this research.

ScotCen will only keep your personal data for as long as is necessary to support the research project and findings. All personal data and interview responses are stored securely and confidentially under the terms of data protection and in line with international best practice and NatCen’s ISO27001, ISO 20252 and Cyber Essentials Plus certifications. For this project we will securely remove your personal data from our systems by 31st October 2021 and research data by 31st August 2022.

What are my rights?

Taking part in the research is voluntary. You are free to withdraw at any time without consequence, and you do not have to answer any questions you do not want to.

Data protection legislation gives rights to individuals in respect of the personal data that organisations hold about them. These include the right to:

  • access a copy of the information an organisation holds about them;
  • object to processing that is likely to cause or is causing damage or distress;
  • prevent processing for direct marketing;
  • have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed in certain circumstances; and
  • claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the legislation.

If you have any questions about your personal data, see ‘Will I have access to my data?’

What will my data be used for?

Your data will be very important in helping us to understand more about individual experiences of self-isolation in Scotland, the challenges this may bring and the ways in which those asked to self-isolate in future in Scotland can be best supported during that time.

Will my data be shared with any third parties?

A dataset will be shared with the Scottish Government but this will not contain any information that could identify you.

Do I have to take part?

Taking part in this study is completely voluntary but we do hope you will get involved.

Where will my personal data be stored?

All personal data are stored securely, in line with international best practice and NatCen’s ISO27001, ISO 20252 and Cyber Essentials Plus certifications. Data will be stored on NatCen’s servers which are based in the UK.

Will any part of the processing be sub-contracted to a third-party organisation?

All of the data processing will be undertaken by ScotCen and colleagues at NatCen, with the support of a small number of organisations who between them will be providing webserver and transcription services (for the follow up telephone or video call interviews, they will have access to recordings and transcriptions).

All sub-contractors working for ScotCen come from our ‘Approved Supplier List’ which means that we have signed contracts and confidentiality agreements already in place with them. Your data will not be shared by our approved sub-contractors with anyone other than ScotCen via a secure data transfer approach.

Will my study answers be linked to any other information?

No, your data will not be linked to any other information or reported in a way that allows you to be identified.

Will I have access to my data?

You can contact ScotCen to request that your personal data be deleted or updated and we will let you know if this is possible or not.

Please note that it will not be possible to identify your responses and remove your data in the event that you have not given the following:

  • Your name and contact details for the follow up telephone/video call.
  • Your postcode (requested during the first online/telephone interview will be used) will be used for analysis purposes only, will not be used to identify you and which will not be shared outside of ScotCen).

You have the right to access your personal data within the period that ScotCen holds it. Providing responses to this study is entirely voluntary. You have the right to withdraw your consent to our processing of your personal data at any time, although once data is analysed  and aggregated, it is not possible to withdraw your data from the outputs.

To exercise these rights, please contact ScotCen at

We must generally respond to requests in relation to your rights within one month, although there are some exceptions to this.

All requests will be responded to within one month.


If you have concerns about how your personal data has been processed, you can contact the Scottish Government’s data protection officer using the details below:


The Data Protection Officer
Data Protection and Information Assets Team
V Spur, Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
EH11 3XD

You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

Telephone: 0303 123 1113