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De-Identification: As Described by Federal Statutes

February 11, 2019


Most laws either do not apply to de-identified information or permit disclosure of de-identified information. While de-identified information can usually be freely disclosed, how laws define whether information is sufficiently de-identified vary. This table sets out legal provisions that apply to disclosure of de-identified information under selected federal laws and provides definitions, criteria or standards that are relevant to determinations of whether information is de-identified.

Some of these laws apply to the federal government’s data de-identification and other laws apply to any data holder. This table does not cover exceptions under the various laws that might allow disclosure of identifiable information for specific purposes, such as public health activities or research.