PRIVACY regulators are investigating complaints that the Scottish Government’s sex census for kids is breaching data protection rules and human rights legislation – after the issue was lodged by a West Fife MP.

The controversial questionnaire asks children about their sexual experiences with multiple choice answers including ‘oral sex’ and ‘vaginal or anal sex’.

Now the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is responsible for upholding data privacy, is looking into concerns that the census billed as anonymous after a letter was lodged by Neale Hanvey, the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath.

It states concern that the individual child remains identifiable in the process.

The Alba Party MP said: “Given the serious concerns which exist among parents, teachers, a growing number of councils, the Children and Young People’s Commissioner and the wider public, I have written to the ICO asking them to intervene.”

He told the ICO there was “growing disquiet that informed consent for child participation has not been obtained”.

“The Scottish Government state in their privacy notice that data may be linked with other data they hold for an individual child,” he said, saying this “contradicts the intention of anonymised data collection”.

He said it was alleged questions intrude into private family life and that this may contravene Article 16 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which provides children with an equitable right to privacy. It may also encroach on the family’s right to privacy as laid out in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Nicola Sturgeon insisted last week during First Minister’s Questions that the census was confidential and “ensures that any results of the research or resulting statistics will not be made available in a form which identifies individual children and young people”.

Fife Council agreed to postpone its participation in the Health and Wellbeing Census pending further scrutiny from the education and children services sub-committee.

At least 14 local authorities have said they have not committed to distribute the census provided by the Scottish Government.

But 11 out of Scotland’s 32 local authorities have already distributed it.

Parents have raised questions about its content, which asks pupils as young as 14 intimate questions on their sexual activity – effectively asking them to confess about illegal acts.

It also asks how many people they have had sexual intercourse with in the past 12 months, as well contraceptive methods, and their drinking, drugs and smoking habits.

An ICO spokesperson said: “We have received a complaint in relation to this matter and we will assess the information provided.”