Statistical Confidentiality

We understand that respondents, when providing information, are concerned about how their data are used and where they finally go. With these concerns, respondents may hesitate to provide accurate information, which will directly affect the accuracy of statistical data. In order to gain the trust of data providers, the Statistics and Census Service has set up the regulations of statistical confidentiality that rigorously protect individual data from disclosure.

As stipulated in the regulations, all employees including temporary workers are required to sign a declaration of statistical confidentiality when joining the Statistics and Census Service (DSEC). This is a lifetime obligation which will not end upon termination of duties or services provided. Under the regulations, all individual data are kept in strict confidence and must not be disclosed to any third party, even upon request from the court or the Chief Executive. Otherwise, this will lead to civil and disciplinary liabilities, or even jail time.
Individual data collected are used solely for statistical analysis by DSEC and results will be published in aggregate form, which means, no individual data can be identified directly or indirectly from the statistical publications. If the statistical data allow an individual unit to be identified either directly or indirectly, publication of such data are prohibited. Unless a written permission is obtained from the individual unit, the organization of statistics compilation should follow the principle of active confidentiality on the minimum number of observations, i.e., data are disclosed only if there are at least three reporting units.
If a reporting unit feels that the published information may directly or indirectly lead to the identification of its individual data, the unit may file a written application with justifications to the Director of DSEC requesting for suppression of its data.
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