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 and safeguarded data are legally 'not personal' according to the relevant legislation, e.g. Data Protection Act and Statistics and Registration Services Act.

The difference between 'open' and 'safeguarded' is that safeguarded data may have a residual risk of disclosure, and open data do not.

Controlled data are data which can be defined as personal.



Open data
Safeguarded data
Controlled data

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The UK Data Service website will be undergoing an upgrade to our systems from Thursday 23 August until Wednesday 29 August inclusive. Some parts of the current website, account area and data catalogue will be unavailable. Normal services are expected to resume on 30 August 2018. We apologise for any inconvenience.

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