Statistical data confidentiality
The issues concerning the observance of statistical confidentiality by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) are arranged by articles 7, 8 and 9 of the Law 3832/2010 as in force, by Articles 8, 10 and 11(2) of the Regulation on Statistical Obligations of the agencies of the Hellenic Statistical System and by Articles 10 and 15 of the Regulation on the Operation and Administration of ELSTAT.
- ELSTAT disseminates the statistics in compliance with the statistical principles of the European Statistics Code of Practice and in particular with the principle of statistical confidentiality.
- ELSTAT protects and does not disseminate data it has obtained or it has access to, which enable the direct or indirect identification of the statistical units that have provided them by the disclosure of individual information directly received for statistical purposes or indirectly supplied from administrative or other sources. ELSTAT takes all appropriate preventive measures so as to render impossible the identification of individual statistical units by technical or other means that might reasonably be used by a third party. Statistical data that could potentially enable the identification of the statistical unit are disseminated by ELSTAT if and only if:
- these data have been treated, as it is specifically set out in the Regulation on Statistical Obligations of the agencies of the Hellenic Statistical System (ELSS), in such a way that their dissemination does not prejudice statistical confidentiality or the statistical unit has given its consent, without any reservations, for the disclosure of data.
- The confidential data that are transmitted by ELSS agencies to ELSTAT are used exclusively for statistical purposes and the only persons who have the right to have access to these data are the personnel engaged in this task and appointed by an act of the President of ELSTAT.
- ELSTAT may grant researchers conducting statistical analyses for scientific purposes access to data that enable the indirect identification of the statistical units concerned. The access is granted provided the following conditions are satisfied:
- an appropriate request together with a detailed research proposal in conformity with current scientific standards have been submitted
- the research proposal indicates in sufficient detail the set of data to be accessed, the methods of analyzing them, and the time needed for the research
- a contract specifying the conditions for access, the obligations of the researchers, the measures for respecting the confidentiality of statistical data and the sanctions in case of breach of these obligations has been signed by the individual researcher, by his/her institution, or by the organization commissioning the research, as the case may be, and by ELSTAT.
- Issues referring to the observance of statistical confidentiality are examined by the Statistical Confidentiality Committee (SCC) operating in ELSTAT. The responsibilities of this Committee are to make recommendations to the President of ELSTAT on:
- the level of detail at which statistical data can be disseminated, so as the identification, either directly or indirectly, of the surveyed statistical unit is not possible;
- the anonymization criteria for the microdata provided to users;
- the granting to researchers access to confidential data for scientific purposes.
- The staff of ELSTAT, under any employment status, as well as the temporary survey workers who are employed for the collection of statistical data in statistical surveys conducted by ELSTAT, who acquire access by any means to confidential data, are bound by the principle of confidentiality and must use these data exclusively for the statistical purposes of ELSTAT. After the termination of their term of office, they are not allowed to use these data for any purpose.
- Violation of data confidentiality and/or statistical confidentiality by any civil servant or employee of ELSTAT constitutes the disciplinary offence of violation of duty and may be punished with the penalty of final dismissal.
- ELSTAT, by its decision, may impose a penalty amounting from ten thousand (10,000) up to two hundred thousand (200,000) euros to anyone who violates the confidentiality of data and/or statistical confidentiality. The penalty is always imposed after the hearing of the defense of the person liable for the breach, depending on the gravity and the repercussions of the violation. Any relapse constitutes an aggravating factor for the assessment of the administrative sanction.
- Statistical Confidentiality Declaration