Welcome to the American Statistical Association's
Privacy and Confidentiality Website
Sponsored by the ASA Committee on Privacy and
People can gather detailed information on almost any topic with just a
few clicks of a button. While this has enormous benefits for society, it also raises concerns
about privacy and confidentiality. The proliferation of readily available electronic data, and advances in statistical and
computing technologies, provide ill-intentioned individuals with more and higher quality
resources for linking records in different databases. As a result, the risks of unintended disclosures of sensitive information are
rising. If such disclosures occur,
individuals' rights may be violated and the quality of data available for research and decision-making may suffer.
Privacy and Confidentiality Committee of the American Statistical Association
developed this website to help policymakers,
statisticians, and the general public to better understand issues in privacy and confidentiality. The site includes:
Links to these topics are at the left of each page on the
site. The site also provides a link to opportunities
for federal funding for research in privacy and confidentiality,
which is actively supported by major funding bodies.
- a primer on key concepts and terms in privacy and
confidentiality, and resources for training on privacy and
- information on techniques for preventing unintended disclosures when sharing confidential data
- explanations of specific issues and examples of protecting privacy and confidentiality for biological and health data, for business and economic data, and for demographic data
- guidelines on best practices for government agencies
- links to key laws and regulations on privacy and confidentiality
- resources related to the protection of human subjects and ethical research.
The site also announces recent news and upcoming events of interest to those in the privacy
and confidentiality communities (latest update: Sept. 1, 2010).
If you would like to announce an event on the site, please send a request to the chair of the Committee via email.
The American Statistical Association--a leading professional organization for statisticians in government, industry and academia--supports
improving practice and research in privacy and confidentiality. The ASA's views are summarized in an organizational statement.
The ASA and the Committee request that you read their
before perusing this site for the first time. The Committee acknowledges the contributions to the development of this website
of the National Opinion Research Center, ASA staff, Joyce Weil, an advisory board of experts
in privacy and confidentiality, and previous Committee members. Suggestions
on the site can be sent via e-mail to the current chair of the
Committee, who can be identified by following the first link on the left-hand side of each page.