Eurostat's Concepts and Definitions Database


Confidential data
Term extension
Statistical concept
Data which are subject to confidentiality clauses.
The data collected by many national statistical agencies are subject to national rules regarding confidentiality. The two main reasons for declaring data to be confidential are: a) too few units in a cell; b) dominance of one or two units in a cell. The limits of what constitutes "too few" or "dominance" vary between statistical domains.

In the European Union, confidential data is defined in Article 13 of Council Regulation No 322/97, as:

1. Data used by the national authorities and the Community authority for the production of Community statistics shall be considered confidential when they allow statistical units to be identified, either directly or indirectly, thereby disclosing individual information. To determine whether a statistical unit is identifiable, account shall be taken of all the means that might reasonably be used by a third party to identify the said statistical unit.

2. By derogation from paragraph 1, data taken from sources which are available to the public and remain available to the public at the national authorities according to national legislation, shall not be considered confidential.
SDMX (2009)
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