Data Confidentiality and Access Issues Among Federal Agencies

Jacob Bournazian, Stephen H. Cohen, Donna Eden, and Brian Greenberg


Federal statistical agencies face increasing complexity in our information and technological environment for developing disclosure avoidance and restrict access procedures to preserve the confidentiality of survey data and protect individual privacy rights. Critical topics for understanding the issues relating to preserving data confidentiality and expanding public access to statistical data that will be discussed include: Overview: legal issues relating to an agency's responsibility and obligation to protect the confidentiality of the survey data—Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Act, and State Laws; Statistical Disclosure Limitation Techniques (SDL) for preserving the confidentiality of published data in microdata files and tabular data; the CDAC checklist on the potential disclosure risks of proposed data releases; and Restricted Access Procedures.