Importing and Exporting Files Through the Airlock

Learn how to bring files into a restricted project, and how to release safe outputs from a restricted TRE project.

To keep our participants’ data safe, Our Future Health reviews all files that researchers would like to transfer to and from restricted projects on the Trusted Research Environment (TRE). There are certain restrictions on what you can import and export.

Why the Airlock Exists

Our Future Health follows the Five Safes framework for data access. The Five Safes are: Safe Data, Safe projects, Safe People, Safe Settings, and Safe Outputs.

The Airlock, which is an essential feature of the Our Future Health TRE, provides a controlled mechanism for researchers to bring safe data and files into, or release safe outputs from, the environment (Safe Settings). It prevents transfers that could lead to the re-identification of study participants (Safe Outputs).

The Airlock process is governed by the Airlock Policy, which defines the process and governance of the Airlock process.

What You Can and Cannot Transfer

There are certain rules and criteria that apply to all Airlock requests, irrespective of whether you are requesting to import or export files:

  • The request should be aligned with the aims, methodology and outputs of the study as approved by the Access Board.

  • You need to provide all relevant details about the files you would like to transfer. This is described in more detail in the following sections. All files in a request will be inspected and compared to their description.

  • The transfer of files should not pose any risks for data confidentiality (re-identification risk) or data security.

  • The transfer of files must be technically feasible.

Transfer Request and Review Process

Learn More

See the following to learn more about the Airlock and how to use it:

If you have any questions about the Airlock or are unsure about your request, please contact Our Future Health.

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