Journal of Official Statistics, Vol.9, No.2, 1993. pp. 599607

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Discussion Statutes and Administrative Procedures

Commenting on the Cecil and Jabine papers provides me with an opportunity to discuss statistical confidentiality in the European Community (EC) and to attempt a comparison between the U.S. and the EC approaches to these very sensitive questions. Cecil describes the U.S. system for data protection and access to confidential data for research and statistical purposes, regarding data collected by the various federal agencies either for administrative or statistical purposes. Jabine deals with restricted data access as practiced by the statistical agencies to make data available to third parties. Bringing together the various aspects of statistical confidentiality stressed by the two authors and the experience of the European Community, an effort is made to highlight a few important issues for official statistics in relation to the protection of the privacy of the respondents to statistical enquiries.

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