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Privacy Policy & use of Cookies

Who is using your personal data?

The Migration Observatory at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), the University of Oxford, 58 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6QS, United Kingdom.

The Migration Observatory is the ‘data controller’ for the information we collect when you visit our website. We decide how to use it and are responsible for looking after it under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Your personal data can be accessed by staff within the Migration Observatory who need to view it as part of their work in connection with the website’s operation.

Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your ‘personal data’ and how we treat it.


Where we refer in this policy to your ‘personal data’, we mean any recorded information about you that identifies you. It does not include data where your identity has been removed (anonymous data).

Where we refer to the ‘processing’ of your personal data, we mean anything we do with that information, including collection, use, storage, disclosure, deletion or retention.

How we collect information

We collect information about you in the following ways:

  • Information you give us: there are many instances where you directly give us your data. Some examples might include signing up for an event organised by the Migration Observatory or registering to receive our e-newsletter;
  • Information we get from your use of our website and services: like any organisation, we can track personal data when you use our website through ‘cookies’ and other tracking methods. You can read more information about this in our Cookie Policy.

We collect information ‘organically’ – we do not buy lists of personal data.

What information might we collect/process?

We will automatically collect, store, and use the following categories of data when you browse and search our site if you have consented to our use of cookies:

  • Technical information, for example, the type of device (and its unique device identifier) you use to access our site, the Internet Protocol (IP) address used to connect your device to the Internet, your login information, browser type and version, time zone setting, browser plugin types and versions, operating system, mobile network information and platform; and
  • Information about your visit to our site, including the full Uniform Resource Locators (URL), clickstream to, through and from the website (including date and time), pages you viewed, page response times, download errors, length of visits to certain pages, page interaction information (such as scrolling, clicks, and mouse-overs), and methods used to browse away from the page.

We may collect, store and use the following kinds of personal data (for example, if we develop, host and conduct a survey on the website):

  • your name(s);
  • your contact details (including postal address, telephone numbers, email address and, where applicable, your social media identity);
  • your date of birth or age;
  • your gender;
  • your nationality and ethnicity information where appropriate for monitoring purposes;
  • your communication preferences;
  • Information about our services, events, activities, funding opportunities, and communications which you have used, expressed an interest in, or we believe to be of interest to you;
  • Information about your activities on our website and about the device you use to access these, for instance, your IP address and geographical location;
  • Any other personal information you provide to us.

Certain types of personal data are classified as ‘special category data’ in data protection law because they are sensitive. Examples of sensitive personal information include information about health, race, religious beliefs, political views, trade union membership, sex life or sexuality or genetic/biometric information. We collect these types of information about our service users where there is a clear need to do so.

Whenever we collect this information, we will clarify why either at the point of collection or at the earliest practical opportunity.

How do we use your data?

We process your data for purposes arising from your use of the website, for example, to ensure that we understand who uses our site and how to improve it and ensure it is secure. This processing occurs because it must meet our legitimate interests in operating and improving the website, analysing its use, and ensuring its security.

We will only use your data for the purposes we collected it unless we consider that we need to use it for another related reason. That reason is compatible with the original purpose. If we need to use your data for an unrelated purpose, we will seek your consent to use it for that new purpose.

Legal basis for processing

Whenever we hold or collect your personal information, we must have a ‘legal basis’ for doing so as defined in data protection law. Further details on each legal basis are in the General Data Protection Regulation (EU Regulation 2016/679).

We sometimes ask for your consent to use your personal information in a certain way and will only do so if you agree. Examples of occasions when we rely on consent, include sending you electronic marketing communications such as emails or holding sensitive personal information about you. Whenever we use your information for a purpose based on consent, you have the right to withdraw your consent for us to use your information for this purpose at any time (as described in ‘your personal data rights’).

Sometimes, we collect and use your personal information based on our ‘legitimate interests’, provided our use is reasonable and does not affect your rights.

Some examples where we rely on legitimate interests are:

  • Sending direct marketing materials;
  • Conducting research, analysis and profiling of our audiences to understand better who they are;
  • Measuring how our audiences respond to a variety of marketing activities so we can ensure our activity is well-targeted, relevant and practical;
  • Monitoring individuals’ use of our website or apps for technical purposes.

When we rely on legitimate interests to process your personal information, we also consider and balance any potential impact this may have on you (both positive and negative) and your rights under data protection law. If the effect on you and your rights overrides our interests, we will not process your information that way. For example, collecting or using your information would be excessively intrusive unless we are legally required or permitted to do so.

We require an additional legal basis under data protection law when we use sensitive personal information. Therefore, we will either do so based on your explicit consent or another basis available to us (for example, if you have made the information manifestly public, we need to process it for employment, your vital interests, or, in some cases, if it is in the public interest for us to do so). We will use your personal information where we need to do so to comply with one of our legal or regulatory obligations.

How do we keep your information safe?

We may store data collected by the website manually or electronically. The data is stored on our secure servers or our premises within the UK.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the Internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of data transmitted to the website, and any transmission is at your own risk.

Sharing your data with other organisations

Our site contains links to and from various third-party websites. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that they have their privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.

We may share your data with third parties who provide services on our behalf, such as those who help us to operate the website. All our third-party service providers must take appropriate security measures to protect your data per our policies. We do not allow them to use your data for their purposes. We permit them to process your data only for specified purposes per our instructions.

We may also share your personal data with third parties if we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data to comply with any legal obligation, to enforce or apply our site terms of use or to protect the rights, property or safety of our site, our users, and others.

Where your data are shared with third parties, we will seek to share the minimum amount necessary.

How long do we store your personal information?

We will only retain your data for as long as we need it to fulfil our purposes, including any relating to legal, counting, or reporting requirements.

Your personal data rights

Under certain circumstances, by law, you have the right to:

  • Request access to your data (commonly known as a ‘subject access request’), which enables you to receive a copy of your data and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • Request correction of your data, which enables you to ask us to correct any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you.
  • Request erasure of your data, which enables you to ask us to delete or remove your data under certain circumstances, for example, if you consider that there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your data where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below).
  • Object to processing of your data where we rely on our legitimate interests (or those of a third party), and something about your particular situation makes you want to object to processing on this ground.
  • Request the restriction of processing of your data, which enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your data, for example, if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.
  • Request the transfer of your data to another party.

Depending on the circumstances and the nature of your request, it may not be possible for us to do what you have asked, for example, where there is a statutory or contractual requirement for us to process your data and it would not be possible to fulfil our legal obligations if we were to stop. Further information on your rights is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

If you wish to exercise your rights described above or are dissatisfied with the way we have used your information, please get in touch with the Migration Observatory by email at migration.observatory@compas.ox.ac.uk or by post, The Migration Observatory, University of Oxford, 58 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6QS.

We will seek to deal with your request without undue delay and, in any event, per the requirements of the GDPR. Please note that we may keep a record of your communications to help us resolve any issues you raise.

If you remain dissatisfied, you can complain to the ICO.

Cookie Policy

This statement explains how The Migration Observatory uses cookies. Under UK law (Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations), we must inform all website visitors of the information we store as ‘Cookies’.

A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that we place on your computer or mobile device if you agree to allow them. These cookies allow us to distinguish you from other users of our website, which helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and enables us to improve our website. Almost all websites use Cookies in some way or another.

The Migration Observatory website uses Cookies in a few ways, described below. We will never sell your data, will always be safely and securely stored, and respect your rights per the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and related UK data protection legislation.

If you have any questions about the Migration Observatory website and Cookies, then please get in touch with us by email at migration.observatory@compas.ox.ac.uk or by post, The Migration Observatory, University of Oxford, 58 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6QS.

  • Google Analytics: Google Analytics uses Cookies to record information about your visit to our website. For example, it will track the pages you visit and how long you spend on each page. Registering this information enables us to review the analytics of our website to ensure it is performing as well as it should be. You can opt out of Google Analytics so your browsing data is not collected.
  • Meta Pixel: Our website measures conversions using visitor action pixels from Meta Platforms. These allow the behaviour of site visitors to be tracked after they click on a Facebook ad to reach the provider’s website. This allows an analysis of the effectiveness of Facebook advertisements for research purposes and their future optimization. The data collected is anonymous to us as operators of this website and we cannot use it to draw any conclusions about our users’ identities. However, the data are stored and processed by Facebook, which may make a connection to your Facebook profile and which may use the data for its own advertising purposes, as stipulated in the Facebook privacy policy. This will allow Facebook to display ads both on Facebook and on third-party sites. We have no control over how these data are used. You can also deactivate the custom audiences remarketing feature in the Ads Settings section at https://www.facebook.com/help/568137493302217. You will first need to log into Facebook.
  • Social Media Integration: The Migration Observatory website uses social media plugins enabling visitors to share our content using Facebook, Twitter and Google. The website also uses another popular social plugin called AddThis, which allows users to share content on our website using a more comprehensive number of social applications. If you do not want AddThis to store or collect your browsing data, please visit their website to opt-out.
  • Video Embedding: The Migration Observatory uses Vimeo to deliver all the videos on the website, using the player provided by Vimeo, which requires a Cookie to play.

Disabling Cookies

You can change your browser settings to allow or refuse all Cookies, choose which Cookies you want or do not want, or ask to be notified when a Cookie is about to be set. Further information is found at the following links:

Please note: If you use your browser settings to block all Cookies, you may be unable to access all or parts of our website or experience limited functionality when trying to access certain features.

Further information

If you would like to find out more about Cookies, then please look at the websites below:

Feedback and complaints

We appreciate any opportunity to learn and improve. If you wish to raise offer any feedback or complaints about this privacy policy, please get in touch with the Migration Observatory by email at migration.observatory@compas.ox.ac.uk or by post, The Migration Observatory, University of Oxford, 58 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6QS.

You also have the right to complain about any use of your information with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), the UK data protection regulator.

Changes to this statement

This statement may change from time to time. For example, it has been recently updated to reflect new legal requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Please continue to check this section of the website periodically to keep updated with any changes in our statement.

 Contact Us 


This Migration Observatory is kindly supported by the following organisations.

  • University of Oxford logo
  • COMPAS logo
  • Esmee Fairbairn logo
  • Barrow Cadbury Trust logo
  • Paul Hamlyn Foundation logo