Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.9, No.2, 1993. pp. 519535

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Confidentiality Legislation and the United States Federal Statistical System

In the United States access to records maintained by federal agencies is often governed by statutes intended to address administrative uses of information. Those who seek such records for statistical purposes must respond to a system of regulation that addresses risks that do not arise with statistical uses and fails to offer protection that sensitive statistical records require. This paper demonstrates the problems of conducting statistical research with agency records under a general system of regulation intended for administrative records (the Privacy Act of 1974) and a fragmented pattern of statutory regulation of individual statistical agencies (Bureau of the census, National Center for Educational Statistics, and the National Center for Health Statistics).

Statutory; administrative records; Private Act of 1974; Bureau of the Census; National Center for Educational Statistics; National Center for Health Statistics.

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