Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

At CLOSER, we are committed to protecting your personal information and being transparent about what we do with it. We comply with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) with regard to the collection, processing, storage and disclosure of personal information.

What does CLOSER Discovery's privacy policy do?

Our privacy policy explains how we will use any data that you share with us. We are legally required to tell you how we will use this information and give you the opportunity to tell us not to use your information in that way.

Who we are

Our privacy policy explains:

  • How we will use any data that you share with us when you create an account for CLOSER Discovery and visit the website.
  • How we will protect that information.
  • How you can contact us to tell us not to use your information in any of the ways described in the policy.

We are legally required to tell you how we will use this information and give you the opportunity to tell us not to use your information in that way.

Please refer to the CLOSER privacy policy for information on how we protect your personal information when you sign up to CLOSER newsletters, contact CLOSER on social media, attend CLOSER events, visit the website, or apply to work with us.

Who are we?

CLOSER, the home of longitudinal research, is the interdisciplinary partnership of leading social and biomedical longitudinal population studies, the UK Data Service and The British Library.

Our mission is to increase the visibility, use and impact of longitudinal population studies, data and research to ensure that longitudinal evidence is used to address the health, social, economic and environmental challenges facing the UK, now and in the future.

Any references to ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’ in this privacy policy refer to CLOSER. We are based at the IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, University College London (UCL). Our office address is 55-59 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0NU and you can email us at

In relation to any data that you provide us, we are known as the ‘data controller’.

If you would like to make a complaint about our handling of your data, or for further information, please contact UCL’s Data Protection Officer

The data we collect

Data we collect when you use our website

When you visit our website we collect data that is obtained from cookies. We only collect and use information using cookies if you accept these cookies. You can find information on how we collect and use cookies on our cookies page.

Personal information we collect when you register for a CLOSER Discovery account

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Email
  • Organisation
  • Department

We collect your first name and email address when you register for an account, so we can contact you via email with any service updates related to CLOSER Discovery.

We use the organisation and department information that you have given us to get a better understanding of Discovery users so we can continue to deliver content that is relevant to their area of work.

Under the UK GDPR, the lawful basis we rely on for processing this information is our legitimate interest to provide relevant content for our users, for which we require a general understanding of where they work.

Who will my personal information be shared with?

We do not provide any personal information about users of our website to third parties or other users, unless we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, or in order to enforce or apply our terms of use and other agreements; or to protect the rights, property, or safety of CLOSER, or others.

We will never sell or give your personal information to other organisations.

How we store your personal information

Your information is stored in a contact database held on a UCL Institute of Education’s System Support Development & Integration (SSD&I) server which is behind a secure firewall. The data are password protected and accessible only to CLOSER and the IOE SSD&I team. All passwords which are created for user accounts are saved as hashed versions, which means they cannot be decoded.

The accuracy of your information is important to us. If you change your address or believe any of the other information we hold concerning you is out of date, please email

Data security

CLOSER Discovery hosts metadata. This is, simply put, data about data. It does not host the data itself. Variables are all listed by name, linked to their data set and their source data collection instrument. There are also summary statistics for each variable, such as valid and invalid, minimum and maximum, frequency, etc. However, these are stored only as the final values. The data behind them is not included within CLOSER Discovery.

For example, if a question was asked of 2,500 people and an answer was recorded for 2,000, then there would be 2,000 valid and 500 invalid responses. If the question had Yes and No as possible answers, CLOSER Discovery might tell you that 1,500 said Yes and 500 said No. These are recorded simply as Yes = 1,500 and No = 500. The individual responses are not stored. It is not, therefore, possible to find out from CLOSER Discovery what person number 1,437 answered.

It is also not possible to cross-tabulate within CLOSER Discovery. We know that 1,500 said Yes to question 1 and 1,500 said Yes to question 2. There is no way, in the metadata, to know if those are the same 1,500 people or not. The only exception is where questions are dependent. If question 2 was only asked of people who said Yes to question 1, then you will know they are the same. This allows you to make useful judgements about the robustness of the data, but you will need to source and analyse the data itself to gain more detail.

Your data protection rights

Under data protection law, you have rights including:

  • Your right of access - You have the right to ask us for copies of your personal information.
  • Your right to rectification - You have the right to ask us to rectify personal information you think is inaccurate. You also have the right to ask us to complete information you think is incomplete.
  • Your right to erasure - You have the right to ask us to erase your personal information in certain circumstances.
  • Your right to restriction of processing - You have the right to ask us to restrict the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.
  • Your right to object to processing - You have the right to object to the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.

You are not required to pay any charge for exercising your rights. If you make a request, we have one month to respond to you.

Please contact us at if you wish to make a request.

How to complain

If you have any concerns about our use of your personal information, you can make a complaint to us at CLOSER.

You can also complain to the ICO if you are unhappy with how we have used your data.

The ICO’s address:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane




Helpline number: 0303 123 1113

ICO website:

This privacy notice was published XXXX 2023.