Privacy statement WODC (Research and Documentation Centre)

This privacy statement explains how the WODC deals with personal data.


The WODC (Research and Documentation Centre) of the Ministry of Justice and Security can be characterised as an international knowledge centre on security, police, criminal, civil and administrative justice and migration issues. "Excellence" and "customer-orientation" are the organisation's guiding principles. Its major output is knowledge for the benefit of policy development, aimed at promoting a safer and more just society. For this reason, you are entitled to expect that we handle your personal data in a careful and secure manner.

Below, we aim to answer the following questions:

  • What is personal data?
  • Why does the WODC process your personal data?
  • How do we deal with your personal data?
  • How can you contact us about your rights?

This privacy statement is updated regularly. Learn more about your privacy when using this website.

What is personal data?

Personal data is information that directly concerns a specific individual or can be traced back to him or her. Examples of personal data include addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses.

Sensitive personal data
Some personal data is particularly sensitive, because its collection and use can have a big impact on someone’s life. Data concerning someone’s race, religion or health, for example. This kind of data enjoys special protection under the law. Likewise, children’s personal data is always sensitive, and is therefore always subject to special protection.

Criminal record or judicial data
The Ministry also processes personal data while doing research in the context of the justice system. Such data concerns criminal records, criminal offences, suspected offences and security measures. This kind of personal data also enjoys special protection.

The WODC is allowed to process sensitive personal data and criminal record and judicial data based on the exceptions for scientific research and statistical purposes named in Articles 24 and 32 of the Dutch GDPR Implementation Act (UAVG).

For more information about personal data, please visit the website of the Data Protection Authority.

Why does the WODC process personal data?

The WODC only processes personal data if it is necessary for the execution of scientific research in the public interest. The results of the research are published on the website of the WODC, and the publications only contain anonymous and/or aggregated results of the research. There is no reporting on individuals, and small numbers are suppressed.

How do we deal with your personal data?

The WODC applies a number of principles when processing personal data and takes measures to ensure it handles data in a reliable, fair and careful manner.

Data protection officer
The Ministry of Justice and Security has appointed a data protection officer. An independent appointee, the data protection officer checks whether the Ministry, including the WODC, applies and complies with the rules laid down in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Dutch Data Protection Authority is responsible for supervising the application of privacy legislation.

Guiding principles
Purpose and legal basis
The WODC processes personal data only if it has a legal basis for doing so. We ensure that personal data is processed only for the specific purpose for which it was collected.

The least amount of data possible
The WODC never processes more personal data than is strictly necessary. If possible, we process less data or none at all. Personal data are anonymised or pseudonymised whenever possible.

Minimising infringement of privacy
The WODC ensures that any infringement of privacy is not disproportionate to the purpose for which the data was collected. If we have a choice of different types of personal data we could process for a given purpose, we always opt for the data that constitutes the most minimal infringement of privacy.

Retention periods

The WODC keeps your personal data:

  • only for as long as is necessary to achieve the purpose for which it was collected;
  • only for the length of time required by the Public Records Act; and
  • never longer than is permitted under the law.

Reliability, integrity and confidentiality

The WODC employs a range of measures to ensure that your personal data is dealt with in a reliable, fair and careful manner.

  • All personal data is treated in confidence. This means your data can be processed only by persons with both the proper authority and a duty of confidentiality.
  • Personal data is protected effectively. At a minimum we observe the rules and standards on information security laid down by central government.

Your rights

When it comes to your personal data, you have several rights. However, the Dutch GDPR Implementation Act contains an exception for scientific research and statistical purposes. This exception means that individuals do not have the right to access or rectify personal data that are processed by the WODC for research purposes.

If you have general questions about data protection at the WODC, please contact our data protection officer. You should address your questions for the attention of the Data Protection Officer at either fg@minjenv


Ministry of Justice and Security
Postbus 20301
2500 EH Den Haag
The Netherlands