Website and Data Users

For visitors to our website and registered data users

Protecting your personal information is important to us. This privacy notice explains how the European Social Survey European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ESS ERIC) collects, uses and shares your personal data, and your rights in relation to your personal data ESS ERIC holds.

Use of Cookies on the ESS website

Cookies are in use on to retain form data in the website's built-in applications for improved ease-of-use.

This website is hosted by Nimbus, a UK based website platform, a processer acting on instruction from ESS ERIC.

Analytical tool for web statistics

The website uses the analytical tool Google Analytics to monitor how readers use the website. Google Analytics is a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. ("Google").

ESS ERIC uses the analytical tool to collect and evaluate information on how visitors use the ESS website, with the aim of improving the functionality of the website. Visits to are registered with anonymous information, which does not contain any identifiable personal data.

In line with normal practice, a user’s IP address is registered when visiting However, ESS ERIC has chosen to mask parts of this information, so that no identifiable personal data is registered. IP masking is a security measure used to control how Google Analytics uses and stores website visitors’ IP addresses. By default, Google Analytics uses the entire IP address of website visitors in the general geographic reporting. On, IP masking is enabled, which means that Google Analytics removes the last eight-bit byte of visitors’ IP addresses before they are analysed and stored.

Using cookies to monitor website usage

During website visits, cookies (information capsules) are stored as text files on your computer. The information collected by the cookie on your usage (including an anonymised version of your IP address) is sent to Google and stored on its servers. Google then uses this information to monitor website usage, draw up website activity reports for the website owner and provide other services related to the website activity and usage.

Google can also transfer this information to third parties where there is a legal obligation to do so, or if such third parties process the information on behalf of Google. Google will not combine your IP address with any other data it may have in its possession.

Preventing storage of your visitor data

Google Analytics’ guidelines on privacy protection entitle you to deny Google Analytics permission to store your visitor data. If you do not want Google Analytics to store your data, you can install "Google Analytics Opt-out", which is an add-on function for your browser that will prevent storage of such data.

You can also prevent the use of cookies on your computer by adjusting the necessary browser settings. If you choose to do this, you should be aware that you may not be able to use all of the website’s functionality.

By using the website you agree to Google processing data on you in the way and for the purpose as described above.

How ESS collects your Information

The ESS Data Portal, accessed via this website, is provided by Sikt - Norwegian Agency for Shared Services in Education and Research (Norway) - a data processor, who acts in accordance with instructions from ESS ERIC.

When registering to access data from the ESS Data Portal, we ask users to provide us with some basic information.

What Information ESS collects

When you register to access data via our Data Portal, ESS ERIC collects some data to allow us to record user details.

ESS ERIC requests the following types of personal data about you:

  • Your name (title, first and surname) and contact information such as address, email address and name of institution. Your country of domicile and user category (eg Faculty member, PhD Student, Government official or other) as well as the academic discipline are recorded.
  • The personal data are stored in a safe environment in accordance with GDPR requirements at Sikt - Norwegian Agency for Shared Services in Education and Research (Norway) - a data processor, who acts in accordance with instructions from the ESS ERIC.

How ESS ERIC uses your information

  • ESS ERIC monitors the use of ESS datasets by academic disciplines, user group and country of use. No individual is identifiable in statistical profiles of the ESS data user or newsletter recipient groupings.
  • ESS ERIC uses a third party - MAKE AS, a processor acting on instruction for ESS ERIC - to share your email address for the sole purpose of sending regular news bulletins, if you have selected this option. Your email address will not be stored by the third party beyond an agreed period and will not be transferred outside the EU/EEA.
  • ESS ERIC may also, on occasion, send requests to participate in user surveys.

The legal basis for processing your information

ESS ERIC relies on several different legal basis depending on the processing being performed:

(Article 6(1)(a)), Consent – on specific occasions ESS ERIC will only process certain data if you explicitly consent e.g. on registration for the ESS User Bulletin.

(Article 6 (1)(b)), necessary for the performance of a contract.

(Article 6 (1)(e)), processing necessary for the performance of a task carried in the public interest – ESS ERIC is a research infrastructure whose activity is conducted in a public interest (including your interest and the interest of others). This is the basis on which we will process the personal data in the survey (Article 6 (1)(f)), processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interest of ESS ERIC or a third party subject to overridden interests of the data subject – the ESS ERIC (and sometimes third parties) has a broad legitimate interest in activities that connect to the activities and education of students. Subject to those interests not being overridden by the interests of fundamental rights and freedoms of students, it will pursue those interests.

Our legal basis for collecting and using the personal information described above will depend on the personal information concerned and the specific context in which it is collected.

Others ESS ERIC shares your information with

ESS ERIC will not share your information with third parties beyond its Core Scientific Team and providers, data processors, with whom it has written agreement about keeping all information secure. In each case your information will only be shared with these third parties in accordance with the data protection principles.

Data retention

ESS ERIC retains personal information it collects from you where there is an ongoing legitimate business need to do so (for example, to keep records of its registered data user community). Where permitted by users for the purposes of User Bulletin distribution, email addresses are stored and accessible to ESS ERIC HQ, MAKE AS and Sikt.

Your contact details will be deleted when you delete your account, or after being inactive for 5 years.

When there is no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, ESS ERIC or its processors will either delete or anonymise it or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then ESS will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.

Your rights

You have rights to your personal data held by ESS ERIC, as set out in the UK DPA 2018 and GDPR, subject to legal bases. These rights include:

Rights to access your personal data to be provided by ESS ERIC within one calendar month – known as a Subject Access Requests (Article 15) This includes information on:

  • A description of your data
  • The Recipients of your data
  • A copy of your data

Rights to rectification and erasure. You have the right to correct any inaccurate personal data held by ESS ERIC. Once information ESS ERIC has collected is no longer necessary for the purpose for which it was collected and processed, you sometimes have the right to have your data erased. 

Rights to restriction of processing

  • You sometimes have the right to restrict the processing of your personal data or object to the processing of your data.
  • If you wish to withdraw consent for the processing of your personal data or otherwise restrict or object to the processing of your personal data please contact the Data Protection Officer.

Rights to data portability. You have the right to receive your personal data ESS ERIC holds in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format and have the right to transmit that data to another controller without hindrance from ESS ERIC.

Right to object to processing. You have the right to object to processing. This is dependant on the legal basis used.

The United Kingdom and GDPR

Although not a member of the EU, the GDPR is retained in domestic law as the United Kingdom GDPR. The ‘UK GDPR’ sits alongside an amended version of the UK Data Protection Act 2018. The key principles, rights and obligations are similar.

Norway and GDPR

Although not a member of the EU, Norway is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA). The GDPR was incorporated into the EEA agreement and became applicable in Norway on 20 July 2018. Norway is thus bound by the GDPR in the same manner as EU Member States.

Changes to this notice

ESS ERIC may amend this privacy notice and will occasionally update to reflect feedback and enhance its accessibility.

In that case, ESS ERIC will post notice of the change on this website and you will be deemed to have accepted such changes.

ESS ERIC encourages you to periodically review this notice to be informed of how the institution is protecting your privacy.

Contact details

The Director of the European Social Survey ERIC, Professor Rory Fitzgerald has appointed Sikt - Norwegian Agency for Shared Services in Education and Research (Norway) to act as its Data Protection Officer (DPO).

Should you have any concerns about your personal data by ESS ERIC please contact the DPO by email.

If you would like to make a complaint, please contact the Information Commissioner’s Office:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow Cheshire
+44 1625 545 700

For a list of all European Data Protection Supervisors

ESS ERIC Representative in the EU (Art. 27): CESSDA ERIC, Solheimsgaten 16, 5058 Bergen, Norway: