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Checklist of Factual Information Needed for Public Health Agencies to Address Proposed Data Collection, Access and Sharing

February 11, 2019


This tool is intended to assist public health practitioners in providing relevant factual information to resolve questions about proposed data collection, access and sharing.

Public health attorneys and privacy officers provide advice to public health agencies on an array of questions about collecting, accessing, and sharing information. Questions may involve oral, written or electronic data. Responses must consider whether a public health agency has the legal authority to collect, access, or share information, and if so, what are the conditions and limitations for data sharing. In addition to legal considerations, policy and ethical concerns may be relevant. In some situations – for example, urgent threats of communicable disease – the public health agency might face competing interests of protecting individual privacy and protecting the public’s health. Certain factual information about the data to be shared and the circumstances and conditions for sharing is needed to evaluate proposed data sharing.