Privacy and Confidentiality
CDC provides technical support and education to CDC employees, grantees, partners, and state and local health departments on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (Hf PAA} Privacy Rule, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and other privacy laws and regulations.
Certificates of Confidentiality (CoC) protect the privacy of research subjects by prohibiting disclosure of identifiable, sensitive research information to anyone not connected to the research except when the subject consents or in a few other specific situations. CDC funded researchers are automatically issued a CoC through their award. Other Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies issue CoCs to researchers they fund.
In accordance with section 308(d} of the Public Health Service Act, the Privacy and Confidentiality Unit (PCU} implements agency Assurance of
Confidentiality (AoC) protection for projects conducted by CDC staff or contractors that involve the collection or maintenance of sensitive identifiable or potentially identifiable information. This protection allows CDC programs to assure individuals and institutions involved in research or non-research
projects (usually surveillance activities) that those conducting the project will protect the confidentiality of the data collected.