The Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin works together with the infas Institute for Applied Social Sciences, Bonn, on the study “Living in Germany.” infas conducts the SOEP surveys on behalf of DIW Berlin. Both institutes operate in accordance with the provisions of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the German Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) and share responsibility for your data under data protection law.

Aim and purpose of the study:

The study “Living in Germany” examines your current living situation on an annual basis and covers a broad range of topics. As an independent social research study, it serves scientific purposes. It is one of the leading studies of its kind worldwide in terms of the quality, originality, significance, and reliability of the research.

Voluntary participation:

Participation is, of course, voluntary. You will not suffer any consequences of any kind if you choose not to participate. Even if you have agreed to participate in the study “Living in Germany,” you do not necessarily have to answer all the questions. For each question, you can decide whether you want to answer it. Your participation contributes to the success of this important scientific investigation. We cordially invite you to participate!

Origin of your contact data, legal basis for processing the data:

Your contact details were transmitted to infas by Kantar – Public Division. If you have taken part in the survey “Living in Germany” previously, you have been invited to participate based on the consent you provided according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR, article 6, paragraph 1 (a), and GDPR, article 9, paragraph 2 (a) with regard to special categories of personal data). If you have not participated previously, you have been invited based on the public interest in this study pursuant to GDPR, article 6, paragraph 1 (e). 1 f GDPR, because SOEP at DIW Berlin and infas have a legitimate interest in conducting the study. The collection of special categories of personal data in the context of the survey is necessary for scientific research, pursuant to the German Federal Data Protection Act, 2 BDSG, article 27, paragraph 1. 1 BDSG.

Handling of data and deletion:

The following principles apply to the handling of your personal data and the information you provided during the interview:

  • The data collected during the interview (your answers) will be stored separately from your name and contact details using a pseudonym (code number) that will also be used for repeat surveys.
  • infas carries out pseudonymization of the survey results, a de-identification procedure by which personally identifiable information fields are replaced by artificial identifiers, or pseudonyms. infas then transmits the pseudonymized data—that is, the data without contact information—to DIW Berlin. DIW Berlin uses the data in its own research. . It also transmits the data to other scientific institutions and individuals—some of them in countries where the GDPR and the BDSG do not directly apply—for research purposes and for university teaching. All evaluations and analyses are carried out without any reference to your name and address, and the information obtained is transmitted solely in anonymized form.
  • DIW Berlin has commissioned infas to conduct the surveys in the coming years. Your contact details will be retained by infas so that we can contact you again later and interview you as part of this survey. DIW Berlin is also authorized to store and process the contact data as part of its joint data protection responsibilities. In the event that DIW Berlin terminates its collaboration with infas, DIW Berlin reserves the right to commission another survey institute to continue the study “Living in Germany” and to transfer the contact data to this institute on a contractual basis. When the SOEP’s funding has expired, your contact data will be deleted permanently.
  • infas contracts service providers to mail survey materials to you, to do address research, and to electronically process paper questionnaires. We ensure that your name and address will only be passed on by infas and DIW Berlin to these service providers, to the interviewers conducting the surveys and, if necessary, to a subsequent survey institute (see previous point).

Your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), articles 13 and 14:

With regard to your personal data, you may assert the following rights against infas or DIW Berlin at any time until the contact data is deleted at the end of the project:

  • Right of access by data subject, GDPR, article 15
  • Right to rectification, GDPR, article 16
  • Right to erasure (“right to be forgotten”), GDPR, article 17
  • Right to restriction of processing, GDPR, article 18
  • Right to data portability, GDPR, article 20

In addition, you have the right to lodge a complaint with a data protection supervisory authority pursuant to GDPR, article 77. You can lodge your complaint with the supervisory authority in the state where you live or work, as well as with the supervisory authority responsible for the controller in the respective state. We would be happy to provide you the data protection agreements between DIW Berlin and infas upon request.