All data collected for statistical purposes are confidential. Exceptions to confidentiality are the data in the Register of Enterprises and Establishments defined in legislation and the data describing the activities of central and local government authorities and the production of public services in general. Respondents' identification data, such as name or personal identification number, are not collected or stored unless it is necessary for the production of statistics. It is usually necessary when identification data are needed for combining the collected data with some other data.
Besides the Statistics Act, the Personal Data Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are also applied to processing of data when producing statistics. Data protection provisions define what data can be collected, how data may be processed and in which form they may be published.
When data collected for statistical purposes are being processed, it is seen to that no person's privacy or business or professional secret are endangered. To maintain confidentiality, collected data are protected against misuse during all stages of statistics production.
Permission can be granted to use data collected for statistical purposes in scientific research and statistical surveys. Permission to use can be granted to such data from which the statistical unit cannot be directly identified. Statistics Finland's data can be used via an encrypted remote access system so that the researcher is not able to download unit data on his or her own computer.
In interview surveys, interviewees must be told before the interview for which purposes the collected data will be used. Collected data may only be used for the purposes interviewees have been informed about.
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Last updated 16.9.2013