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Data Access: Background Information

The Research Data Centre (FDZ) offers individual-level and establishment data that are subject to data protection legislation. The legal basis for data access is mainly Section 67 of the German Social Code Book X. In compliance with these regulations the FDZ offers three ways of data access for researchers, described below.

Generally, access to our data can be granted for non-commercial research purposes only. Applications for data access are considered in order of receipt.

Requirements for Analysis of the Datasets

Confidentiality

Requirements for Analysis of the Datasets

On-site use

The individual data supplied by the FDZ are so-called social data based on the German Social Code Book X, Section 67, paragraph 1. These data contain individual information on the personal or material circumstances of a determined or determinable natural person. Within the scope of the responsibilities of the Federal Employment Agency (BA) as defined by the German Social Code Book II and III, data have to be collected and processed by the BA and, thereafter, edited for research purposes at the Institute for Employment Research (IAB). Social data are particularly sensitive and therefore subject to the confidentiality regulations of Social Code Book I, Section 35, Paragraph 1.

Consequently, access to social data is also subject to the provisions of the German Social Code. Our establishment data are also treated as social data.

In accordance with the provisions of Social Code Book X, Section 75, researchers can be granted access to social data provided that

  • data are required for a research project in the field of social benefits or scientific labor market research
  • the public research interest substantially outweighs the individual's interest in confidentiality and 
  • the obligatory permission from the individual to transmit social data cannot be obtained under reasonable circumstances.

Utilization of data is subject to authorization by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Furthermore, data may not be used for commercial purposes.

Statutory provisions for data use agreement for on-site use

Remote Data Access

Remote data access is granted for scientific research projects of public interest. Requests with a commercial background will not be considered. In case of doubt the project has to be explained in more detail.

Scientific Use Files

Scientific Use Files are factually anonymous datasets, which are provided to scientific institutions within the scope of §282 Section 7 of the German Social Codebook III. Since the data are still individual data, the following requirements have to be fulfilled:

  • The data may solely be analysed for temporary research projects in the field of labour market research. 
  • The data may only be used for independent scientific research. 
  • The research objectives can not be achieved other than by analysing these datasets. 
  • Data confidentiality has to be ensured by organisational and technical measures. 
  • The data may solely be used by the persons named in the use agreement for the specific research project. Merging with other datasets and every attempt to deanonomyse the data are prohibited. 
  • Persons who have access to the data must be either public officers or persons who are especially obligated to government services or who have been instructed and have undertaken an obligation accordingly in compliance with Section 5 of the Federal Data Protection Act.

Statutory provisions for SUF data use agreement

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Confidentiality

FDZ staff members are obligated to restrict their knowledge of visitors' research issues and methods to the provision of advisory services, improvement of FDZ services and compliance with data protection regulations. Other members of IAB and BA staff are not granted access to information on guest researchers' activities. This regulation does not affect, however, cooperation projects between guest researchers and IAB or FDZ researchers.

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