IFAU’s law on register data (Law on Processing of Personal Data at IFAU) provides us with support for keeping certain data collections, databases, with personal data for a more general purpose than carrying out one single research project.
IFAU has three kinds of research data.
- Three research databases with statistics from the databases of different government authorities. Statistics Sweden administers delivery to the databases, which constitute the basis for a number of research studies.
- Data that has been collected directly with the consent of a selection of individuals (respondents) for a research project. It can be survey or interview material.
- Data from other government authorities in order to be able to carry out specific research projects.
Data in the databases and data from other government authorities are pseudonymised. This means that it does not contain name or civic registration number – the data is randomly assigned independent serial numbers.
The processing of personal data at IFAU is usually carried out within the framework of a research project. During the project period, the project participants get access to a limited amount of data for specific purposes. Thus, the researchers do not get access to all data material. More information can be found in IFAU’s integrity policy and policy for research data.
Three research databases
IFAU’s data is kept in three different research databases which cover our assignments: different aspects of the labour market (IFAU-I), the labour market effects of social insurance (IFAU-S) and education (IFAU-U).
All three databases contain demographic information like age, family, country of birth grouped according to region, income, wages, transfers and taxes as well as basic education and profession. The most important suppliers of data to the IFAU databases are Statistics Sweden, The Swedish Public Employment Service, The Swedish Social Insurance Agency and The Swedish Unemployment Insurance Inspectorate.
Moreover each database has more specific data:
IFAU-I contains individual data about the different efforts for job seekers by The Swedish Public Employment Service. Moreover, there is data on compensation from the unemployment insurance and data on a large number of those firms that hire on the Swedish labour market. The database contains data from the age of 15.
IFAU-S contains data about payments from The Swedish Social Insurance Agency and remunerations from the unemployment insurance. There is also certain data about health status since this is related to the social insurance.
IFAU-U contains data about who participates in education, both children and adults. There is certain data about the results (grades) and how the studies have been funded. There is also older data about entrance tests (military enrolment). The students can be followed until they become adults. Thus, IFAU-U contains data about all Swedes, notwithstanding age.
Collected data through surveys and interviews
In certain projects, IFAU collects own data through surveys and interviews. The data is collected with the consent of the respondents (i.e. those who have answered the questions). Before the respondents provide data, they are informed about the processing of personal data. The data is pseudonymised when name and address are, for example, no longer necessary (for example, no longer needed for reminders).
Data from other government authorities
IFAU sometimes orders data from other government authorities. This is done within the framework of specific projects. The data is pseudonymised and IFAU does not get access to direct personal data (name and civic registration number). The connection between the civic registration numbers and the random serial numbers at IFAU is kept at the government authority that delivers the data. This data cannot be connected to IFAU’s three databases.