Last Revised: August 2018

Official Statistics and Statistical Confidentiality:

 Recent Writings and Essential Documents

Margo Anderson, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

William Seltzer, Fordham University

We provide below citations and links to recent articles, papers, and documents related to the use of official statistics to target individuals and members of vulnerable population subgroups, and to related issues of statistical confidentiality, particularly in wartime. We invite comments on this site and the issues raised in the writings and documents available on the site.  We also invite those with further information on any of the incidents covered in these writings or with information about other misuses or potential misuses of population data systems and challenges to respondent confidentiality protections to share this information.  Comments on this site and further information may be sent  to Please note that some of the linked files are quite large and may take some time to appear.

Relevant Writings and Presentations

Related Education and Training Materials

Essential Documents

Statistical Confidentiality in Law

Statistical Confidentiality in Wartime:  Changes to Established Practice

  • Second War Powers Act, 1942, P.L. 507, 77th Congress, 2d Session (S2208), Approved March 27, 1942, Section 1402; and Executive Order No. 9157, Regulations with Respect to the Making Available of Records, Schedules, Reports, Returns and Other Information by the Secretary of Commerce, and with Respect to the Use Thereof after the Same Have Been Made Available, May 9, 1942.
  • Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA Patriot Act) Act of 2001, Public Law 107-56, 107th Congress, Section 508, 115 Stat 368.
  • National Center for Education Statistics, NCES Statistical Standards, 2002.