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Protecting your data

Frequently asked questions about Data Protection and Security

Does the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) apply to the data being collected in the Census Pilot Survey?

Yes. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Data Protection Acts 1988 to 2018 sets out the legal framework for the collection and processing of personal data in Ireland. Together, they give rights to individuals (data subjects) in relation to the collection and processing of their personal information. They also impose more obligations on organisations such as the Central Statistics Office which collect and use that information (data controllers/data processors).  These FAQs set out why we need to collect and process your information in the Census Pilot and how we do so.  Further information on the GDPR is available here.

Who is collecting the data in the Census Pilot Survey 2018?

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) is the national, independent provider of statistics in Ireland.  It is our job to gather information, analyse it and produce statistics on our population, society and economy. 

Why are you collecting this data?

We are preparing new questions for the 2021 Census form.  In order to do this, we need to test new questions in a pilot census to see how they work.  The information you provide will help us to make these decisions.  A Census Pilot survey report on the process will be published on the CSO website in the first half of 2019.

Does the data remain in Ireland?

Yes.  All data remains within Ireland, and within the CSO once the initial processing is done.  Only aggregated statistical data is outputted from the CSO.

What is your legal basis?

The legal basis for the data collection is provided by Section 24 of the Statistics Act 1993, as amended by Section 178 of the Data Protection Act 2018.

How do you process the data?

Following a competitive tendering process, Kefron has been selected to provide data processing services for the Census Pilot Survey 2018. The company is based in Dublin and has the highest security accreditation, ISO 27001.  The completed Census Pilot forms will be supplied to Kefron who will enter the information on the forms onto a secured system.  All Kefron staff working on the processing of the Census Pilot Survey forms will be made Officers of Statistics for the duration of the project. Access to the Census Pilot data will be strictly limited to those staff directly working on the project and all access by the company’s staff will be recorded and monitored.  Once the data has been entered onto the system, it will be returned to the CSO for statistical compilation and analysis.  Neither Kefron nor its staff will retain any part of the data.  The CSO will retain the data until the end of the development of the Census 2021 processing system. Read more about the data processing.

Who are the intended recipients of the data?

The Central Statistics Office is the recipient. The purpose of the data is to analyse the information gathered from the new and changed questions so as to inform decisions on what should be included in the next census.  The report to be published in 2019 may include some statistical data from the Pilot.

What is my right of access to the data?

Under both Irish and European Law you enjoy specific rights relating to your personal data, which are set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation. These rights include an entitlement to seek access to, rectification of, restriction of or objection to the processing of your personal data, as well as the right to withdraw your consent at any time. Certain restrictions apply to data processed for statistical purposes.   

What are the consequences of not providing data?

Taking part in the Census Pilot survey is voluntary.  However, by filling out your form, you will help to ensure the success of the Pilot.  This will help make the next census, in 2021, more relevant and meaningful for us all.   

Is my information confidential and secure?

Yes.  We value and protect your information and its confidentiality and security is protected by law.  All staff involved in the Census Pilot Survey, including staff of the company processing the data on the CSO’s behalf, are Officers of Statistics.  They are legally required by the Statistics Act 1993 to make sure that your data remains confidential.  The Act provides for penalties that may be imposed should they fail to do so.

The CSO only publishes grouped anonymous data in the form of statistics. 

Who is the data protection contact within the CSO?

The Data Protection Officer in the CSO is Maria Hurley. Should you have any data protection queries or concerns, the contact details are;

Data Protection Officer
Central Statistics Office
Skehard Road
T12 X00E
E-Mail: dpo@cso.ie

I am not happy with the CSO's response - what do I do now?

You have the right to contact the Data Protection Commission with any queries/concerns.  Further information on how to do so, including if you are dissatisfied with the CSO’s response(s) to you, is available here.  


Data Protection FAQ for Case Management System