Sensitive Data (Tier 2)
UAS survey variables, UAS survey data or external data files linked to UAS survey data are considered to be UAS sensitive data, if they are, or include, potential indirect identifiers, or if they could be combined with other sources to create indirect identifiers. Examples of UAS sensitive data are second and third level occupation codes, and election tracking data. Also considered sensitive are linked UAS survey data that UAS staff have created "behind the scenes" by linking UAS survey data to external data using location identifiers at lower than state level (e.g. county). This page provides more information about these types of data, and how to access them.
In general, research access to UAS sensitive data files requires prior establishment of a UAS user account, and the provision of an additional signed Sensitive Data User Agreement (DUA) addendum which also requires a signature from the researcher’s institution.
Some, but not all, data sets in the UAS election data collection in the links below are available only to UAS data users with sensitive data access. If an election data set is considered to be sensitive, that is indicated at the data download link.
- 2016 Presidential Election: overview and data sets about the 2016 US Presidential Election in the UAS.
- 2018 Midterm Election: overview and data sets about the 2018 US Midterm Polls in the UAS.
- 2020 Presidential Election: overview and data sets about the 2020 US Presidential Election in the UAS.
Sensitive variables from UAS Surveys
- Occupation Codes. The UAS regularly collects complete Standard Occupation Codes from panel members. Tiers 2 an 3 of the codes are considered sensitive data.
UAS Data linked to Qualifying External Data Sets
Generally, linking external data to UAS data using geocodes more granular than state creates a restricted data set and requires use of the Health and Aging Data (HaAD) Enclave. Access to the HaAD Enclave and the UAS's geocode crosswalks requires an additional application process outlined on our restricted data page.
The UAS offers a lower-sensitivity alternative to creating linked data files outside the HaAD Enclave. UAS staff can link certain external data files to UAS data "behind the scenes" without providing investigators with access to the UAS geolocation crosswalks. The location indicator used to link the files is not included in the resulting file. External data files that qualify for this service must not include any indirect identifiers which are, for example, values that are uniquely associated with the link locations, as these could be easily used to re-identify the location.
Researchers who wish to use the UAS data linkage service but whose external data files do not qualify may create qualifying data by, for example, transforming continuous variables into categories or ranges, or by using sufficient rounding. If an external data file includes multiple variables, the combinations of variables also must not be unique to locations.
If location indicators are required for analysis, data users may request that UAS staff add a set of "blinded" identifiers to the linked data files (i.e., replace the location indicator with an index number). If blinded indicators are not needed, and the external data is sufficiently coarse, the resulting linked file may be Tier 1, with access restricted only to regular UAS data users. Otherwise, the linked file requires sensitive data access to download.
Cost for UAS staff to review and link qualifying external data to UAS data files is $2500. To inquire, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.