Privacy Notice

Privacy Notice for the survey participants

The European Social Survey is a survey of social attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of individuals in European countries.

Protecting your personal information is important to us. This notice outlines what we do with the information we collect and store.

Why are we contacting you?

[ESS has asked National statistics agencies to produce representative lists of possible participants, based on random sampling information about [your age, gender, address] or household].

If you are under 16 years of age at the time of the interview, a parent or guardian will be asked for permission for you to participate. As a parent/guardian you can request to see the questionnaire in advance.

Your participation in the ESS

During the ESS interview, you will be asked a number of questions about your attitudes, life events, as well as more factual questions. We will ask about, politics, religion, trade union membership and about your attitudes to social issues. Your answers from the interview will be recorded electronically. We also gather information about the area you live in.

Your participation in the survey is voluntary. You are free to choose which questions you want to answer, and you may stop the interview at any time without giving any explanation.

If you decide not to participate

If you decide not to take part in the ESS, for whatever reason, we will ask and record the reason(s) why, for example if this is due to a language barrier or illness/sickness. This information helps us to check that the people who participate in the survey are representative of the overall population in your country. For information about your privacy and rights, see below.

What happens with the collected information?

Your rights

As long as we can identify you in the ESS results (the survey responses), you have the right to object to the processing of your personal data, to access, rectify and erase any information about you, and to ask us what information we hold about you. Once details such as your name and address are removed, then it will no longer be possible to delete the information you provided.

You also have the right to lodge a complaint to your national supervisory authority or with the UK Information Commission’s Office.

Who is responsible?

The European Social Survey European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ESS ERIC) undertakes the survey and is the Data Controller. Its headquarters are in London, UK.

What organisations are involved?

In each country, a named National Coordinator and fieldwork organisation is responsible for the recruitment and carrying out the survey. See the National Pages for an overview of the key members of each national team.

What gives us the right to collect your personal data?

The lawful bases used in ESS are that it is undertaken as a task in the public interest and necessary for research and archiving purposes, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation and national laws.

Pilot Experiment in Austria (April 2021): What we do with the contact information you have provided

Link to a PDF version of the GDPR Information Sheet (English version)

The purpose of processing your contact information is as part of the experimental research on the use of self-completion approaches in social attitude surveys.

The legal ground is art 6.1 (e) and 9.2(j) of the GDPR and applicable national laws.

The processing location, after processing on the Qualtrics platform, is ESS ERIC HQ, at City, University of London UK , and personal data will be treated in accordance with GDPR.

Where can I find out more?

To find out more about the study, visit the National Pages and