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Privacy notice

The Testing Questions About Families project collects information from people who have taken part in the Growing Up in Scotland study and who have agreed to be contacted to take part in further research. It gathers data from birth mothers about their child’s contact with his/her birth father who lives apart from the birth mother. It also collects views from respondents on the questions asked in terms of their suitability and ease of answering.

This privacy notice explains how your personal data collected through the study are used and handled.

For the purposes of this study, ScotCen Social Research is the data controller. The legal basis for collecting this information is legitimate interest.

This research study is the result of a successful grant application to the Economic and Social Research Council. We want to find out whether new questions designed to collect information about contact between a child and their birth father who lives elsewhere make sense and are easy to understand and answer.

How we got your details

We got your details because you have previously taken part in the Growing Up in Scotland study and agreed to be contacted about other research related to parenting. You also indicated that the study child’s birth father was living separately to you at the time of the last interview.

Permission to contact you was obtained from the Scottish Government, the data controller for the Growing Up in Scotland study, via an application to the Education Analytical Services Data Access Panel.

What happens to the information you provide

Your answers are treated with care and with full respect for your privacy.  The information you provide will be treated confidentially.  The information is used for statistical and research purposes only and is dealt with in accordance with data protection legislation.  We will not publish the research results in a form that can reveal your identity.

Your name and address details will be stored securely and will be kept separate from your answers. ScotCen will not pass your personal details to anybody without your permission and will delete them 12 months following completion of the study unless specifically agreed otherwise.

Only the project team at ScotCen will have access to your personal data, and your data will not be shared with any third parties.

How long your information is stored for

All responses are stored securely and confidentially under the terms of data protection legislation.  The questionnaires, containing individual level responses but not including anything that identifies individuals, will be stored by ScotCen Social Research for 12 months following the end of the project.

Your rights

Taking part in the project is voluntary.  You are free to withdraw from any part of the project at any time, and you do not have to answer all the questions.

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;
  • object to decisions being taken by automated means;
  • have inaccurate personal data rectified, blocked, erased or destroyed in certain circumstances; and
  • claim compensation for damages caused by a breach of the legislation.

How to contact us

More information for those chosen to take part is available at, by calling ScotCen Social Research on 0131 240 0210 or by emailing

If you have questions or concerns about how your personal data is collected or used, you can contact NatCen’s Data Protection Officer by email at

If you are unhappy with the way your personal data is being processed, you can report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at or by calling the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113.