Record Linkage and Privacy:

Issues in Creating New Federal Research and Statistical Information

GAO-01-126SP: Published: Apr 1, 2001. Publicly Released: Apr 1, 2001.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

This study focuses on privacy issues related to record-linkage--a computer-based process that combines multiple sources of existing data. Federally sponsored linkage projects conducted for research and statistical purposes have many potential benefits, such as informing policy debates; tracking program outcomes; helping local government or business planning; or contributing knowledge that, in some cases, might help millions of people. Despite these benefits, concerns about personal privacy are relevant because linkages often involve data on identifiable persons. GAO describes (1) how record linkage can create new research and statistical information, (2) why linkage heightens certain privacy issues, and (3) how data stewardship might be enhanced.

Feb 8, 2018

Sep 28, 2017

Jun 29, 2017

May 24, 2017

Apr 27, 2017

Jul 20, 2016

Apr 8, 2016

Jan 20, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here