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Confidentiality of Data Collected by BLS for Statistical Purposes

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is strongly committed to protecting the confidentiality of information provided by respondents and to ensuring that it is used only for statistical purposes. This pledge of confidentiality means that only BLS employees and agents, such as contract employees or employees of state agencies working on statistical programs under BLS agreements, will ever have access to your information. The limitations on use of the data for statistical purposes means that BLS will combine your information to produce descriptions, estimates, and analyses regarding the state of the economy without identifying the individual information you have provided.

Several laws play a role in ensuring the confidentiality of data provided to BLS.

  • The Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA) states that information acquired by the BLS for exclusively statistical purposes under a pledge of confidentiality must be used by BLS employees and agents for statistical purposes only. CIPSEA further states that any BLS employee or agent who knowingly and willfully discloses identifiable respondent information to someone not authorized to receive it, is subject to imprisonment for not more than 5 years and fines not more than $250,000, or both.
  • The Trade Secrets Act prohibits disclosure of confidential business information collected and maintained by the government.
  • The Freedom of Information exemption 3 excludes “records that are specifically exempted from disclosure by statute.” CIPSEA specifically exempts from disclosure records acquired for exclusively statistical purposes under a pledge of confidentiality.
  • In accordance with the Cybersecurity Act of 2015, BLS systems are protected from malicious activities through cybersecurity screening of transmitted data
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Last Modified Date: May 17, 2019