Journal of Privacy and Confidentiality


U.S. federal statistical agencies continually face challenges in obtaining and using administrative records and in providing useful analytic products to support policy analysis and program planning. At each of three decision points—obtaining the administrative data, integrating the data into statistical programs, and releasing useful data products—concerns over privacy and confidentiality determine to a great extent how effectively these data are used. Although there is a long history of relevant research on privacy attitudes and methodologies to protect con confidentiality in published data, agency decisions to share or publish data are not necessarily informed by known risks. Additional research is proposed to help identify and manage these risks. The paper also proposes government actions to ensure that U.S. federal statistical agencies are meeting the nation's data needs through the appropriate application of survey and administrative data.