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Confidentiality and Privacy Protections

NIJ policy provides for the protection of the privacy and well being of individuals who are participants in NIJ research studies through the statutory protection provided to private information under the authority of 34 U.S.C. § 10231a the other DOJ regulation on the Confidentiality of Identifiable Research and Statistical Information found in 28 CFR Part 22. These regulations:

  1. Protect the privacy of individuals by limiting the use of private, identifiable information for research or statistical purposes.
  2. Protect private information provided by individuals from use in any judicial, legal, or administrative process without the individual's prior consent.
  3. Improve the scientific quality of NIJ research programs by minimizing the subject's concerns over the use of the data.
  4. Clarify for researchers the limitations on the use of privately identifiable information for only research or statistical purposes.
  5. Ensure that our understanding and knowledge of the broad criminal justice system will continue to advance by providing individual privacy protections.

In addition, these regulations provide specific requirements on data access and security, limitations on the transfer of the data, and specifications for final disposition of the information.

All Applicants Must Submit a Privacy Certificate

Applicants for NIJ funding to submit a Privacy Certificate as a condition of approval of a grant application or contract proposal regardless of whether the project involves the collection of identifiable data. In cases where no personally identifiable information will be collected, the Privacy Certificate should contain a statement to this effect and a brief project description.

The Privacy Certificate assures that the applicant understands his responsibilities to protect the confidentiality of research and statistical information and has developed specific procedures to ensure that this information is only used or revealed in accordance with the requirements of 34 U.S.C. § 10231a and 28 CFR Part 22.

In order to assist you, we provide guidelines for preparing the Privacy Certificate and a sample format.

Date Published: November 19, 2007