All users are required to agree to the terms and conditions pertaining to the use of data. These are described in our End User Licence (EUL) and agreed to when registering with the UK Data Service.
EUL data: Access to the majority of our data collections only requires user and project registration and agreement to the EUL. These data are fully anonymised.
Special Conditions: Some data collections are subject to additional conditions of access and require users to agree to special conditions during the download process.
Special Licence: Other data collections contain more detailed information but require users to complete a set of Special Licence forms.
Secure access: In the case of secure access data collections, additional conditions of access such as undertaking additional training also apply.
The full description of our terms and conditions is available from our End User Licence.
The summary below is for general guidance and you must read and understand the full EUL before agreeing to it. By accepting it you agree:
The following data collections have special conditions of use, further to those of the EUL. These are usually agreed to online during the download/ordering process.
Special Licence (SL) data collections are anonymised but contain more detailed information than End User Licence (EUL) data.
All requests for SL datasets require completion of a set of forms to provide further details regarding your intended use of the data. You will be directed to the relevant forms during the ordering process. The completed forms are sent to the data depositor for approval, and permission has to be received before access to the data can be granted.
Some SL data collections are only available to UK applicants and users are advised to check the access information in the relevant Discover record for details.
Users who obtain access to SL data are required to read and follow the advice in the document Microdata Handling and Security: Guide to Good Practice, which includes guidance on avoiding inadvertent statistical disclosure, storing and accessing data securely, and how to permanently destroy copies of data files.
If you require access to ONS SL data you must be accredited by the UK Statistics Authority as an Approved Researcher, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. Access to ONS SL data is only available to UK applicants for non-commercial purposes.
Information on how to download/order special licence data is available from Download and order.
The UK Data Service also provides access to data that are deemed too confidential or sensitive to be released via download (such as through the End User Licence or Special Licence routes). These data have not been subject to any suppression, perturbation or other anonymisation techniques.
We provide secure access to a variety of business microdata from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and social survey data from a range of suppliers. These restricted data typically contain the detailed geographies of respondents’ locations (including postcodes and grid references), and include variables deemed too sensitive for release. In the future, we will also provide researchers with secure access to administrative and transaction data sources.
A valuable resource for researchers, these data are often accessed for their geospatial properties. Many sources of business microdata from the ONS can be combined, exponentially increasing their range of use.
Access to these data is via our Secure Remote Access and Safe Centre facilities. These enable researchers to access and undertake analyses, without the need for downloading data. This reassures data providers that the data remain confidential, but provides researchers with access to a rich source of detailed data.
Further information is available from Secure access.