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Coronavirus (COVID-19) research panel: privacy notice

Published: 31 Jul 2020

Details of the COVID-19 research panel privacy policy which explains what information is being collected, why we need the information, how it will be used, how the information will be protected and what your rights are.

Published:
31 Jul 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) research panel: privacy notice

The Scottish Government are undertaking research to help us better understand and predict the next stages of the COVID-19 epidemic in Scotland.

This privacy notice explains what information is being collected, why we need the information, how it will be used, how the information will be protected and what your rights are. 

Why we need to collect the information

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have been undertaking modelling to help predict the future course of the COVID-19 epidemic in the UK, using information on behaviours and social contacts.

However, the number of people in Scotland used in the current modelling is too small to provide reliable findings. The Scottish Government is therefore asking more people in Scotland to take part in the survey which is used in the model so that we can have more confidence in the results in Scotland.

The lawful basis we are relying on to process your personal data is Article 6(1)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which allows us to process personal data when this is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest. As part of this research, we also need to process sensitive personal information about you. This processing is proportionate and necessary for reasons of substantial public interest under the GDPR (Article 9(2)(g)).

How we collect the information

The information will be collected using online surveys. You will firstly be asked to complete a short registration survey, which will ask you to provide some details about yourself and members of your household, such as your age, employment status and education. You will then be sent a survey every two weeks by email, which will focus on the number of people you have come into contact with over the previous day, whether you have had COVID-19 symptoms, if you have been tested for COVID-19, your attitudes to COVID-19 and your behaviour in the previous week. 

What happens to the information you provide

The information you provide will be anonymised, which will involve separating your name and email address from your answers. It will then be securely transferred to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine for analysis. Both the Scottish Government and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will store the information securely and in line with data protection regulations, ensuring that your confidentiality is protected.

Relevant sections of anonymised data collected during the study will be looked at by authorised individuals from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Scottish Government. The Scottish Government will report the results of the modelling each week in their research findings. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will also use and publish results from the modelling in Scotland, and may share anonymised data via a public data repository. No information will be released that could identify you, your household members or contacts. When the results from the study are reported, they will look at patterns of responses across the population as a whole – not at the responses of individual people.

How long your information is stored for

Your name and email address will be stored by the Scottish Government until at least December 2020, when the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine will review whether the research is to continue.

If the research does continue beyond December 2020, we will contact you and ask if you would still like to participate. If the research ends in December 2020, your name and email address will be securely disposed of.

What your rights are

  • you have the right to access copies of the personal information processed about you. You should submit a request using the contact details below
  • you have the right to ask us to rectify personal information you think is inaccurate. Using the contact details below, you should state clearly what you believe is inaccurate and explain how the information should be corrected
  • you have the right to ask us to restrict processing of your personal information, if you are concerned about the accuracy of the information or how it is being used. Using the contact details below, you should say what data you want restricted and why
  • you have the right to object to processing of your personal information. Using the contact details below, you should explain why you would like processing of your personal information should be stopped

To exercise these rights, you can contact the Scottish Government’s Data Protection and Information Assets Team, using the details below:

Email: dpa@gov.scot

Address:
Data Protection and Information Assets Team
V Spur, Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
Edinburgh
EH11 3XD

All requests will be responded to within one month.

Complaints

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:

Email: DataProtectionOfficer@gov.scot

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

You can also make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), who are the UK’s independent regulator for data protection. You can find details about how to contact the ICO at https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/ or by emailing casework@ico.org.uk

Contact

If you would like further information regarding how your information is used, please contact the Scottish Government using the details below:

Email: covid-19.behaviours@gov.scot

Address:
Communities Analysis Division
Area 1F North
Victoria Quay
The Shore
Edinburgh
EH6 6QQ