opment of such training programs by providing advice based on their experience and expertise. Funding organizations, such as the NSF and the NIH, could contribute to the necessary financial support. There is also an important role in education for professional associations, many of which have codes of professional conduct and ethical standards. Such associations as the American Statistical Association, the American Sociological Association, the Population Association of America, the American Economic Association, the American Association for Public Opinion Research, and their counterparts for other disciplines and fields can contribute significantly to the development of strong norms for fair and ethical practices in research and information gathering.
Recommendation 18 Training in ethical issues related to research, including fair information practices, as well as principles and practices related to research with human participants, should be part of the professional training of all those involved in the design, collection, distribution, and use of data obtained under pledges of confidentiality. Such training should be updated at intervals after the end of formal schooling.
Recommendation 19 Professional associations should develop strong codes of ethical conduct that reflect the need to protect the confidentiality of personal data and make adherence to these codes an integral part of their educational activities.
In addition to encouraging educational and research institutions to add training to their programs, consideration should also be given to requiring completion of a specialized training program as a condition for use of confidential data. Such a program might be designed along the lines of the training and certification programs required of all researchers who are subject to IRBs. Professional associations may be one kind of organization to provide such training.
The challenge facing statistical and other data collection agencies in disseminating the best data as widely as possible in order to foster sound public policy and research while protecting the confidentiality of those data is formidable, but it can be met. With appropriate safeguards, and recognizing that the technological and legal environment is likely to be one of continual change, the nation can reap enormous benefits from the information the public provides.