Once certain conditions have been met, the FSO establishes linkages for third parties for such purposes as research, planning and statistics in the framework of a linkage and data protection contract unrelated to persons.
These third parties include organisations of the federal government, cantons and local authorities as well as recognised research institutes such as universities and universities of applied sciences.
Linkages for third parties are possible only when the following criteria are met:
- Goal-oriented: Linkages should be used exclusively for public statistics-related or scientific purposes, not for administrative or other objectives, regardless of who may be the applicant.
- Legal certainty:
- Linkages must conform to legal requirements and the data included must be in accordance with the FStatA.
- The guarantee of data security/data protection, especially with regard to particularly sensitive data1.
- Only anonymised data that cannot be linked to any individual, can shared.
- The data must not be de-anonymised or linked to other data.
- Once the analysis has been made the data is to be deleted or returned to the FSO.
- Methodological requirements: the data to be linked and the resulting dataset must be of suitable quality; methodological correctness; appropriateness of the data to the subject matter.
- Technical feasibility: there are identical (pseudonymised) identifiers for the data sources being linked.
- Implementation: the FSO conducts linkages in accordance with its technical, organisational and human resource possibilities.
 It should be noted in this context that such sensitive data is often created by means of linkage (key word: the transparent man).