American public about the issue of privacy. Prior to the release of the memo by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that outlined several pilot programs for the use of administrative records, OMB staff met with privacy advocates. Despite these conversations, it remains unclear whether many of these privacy issues have been fully parsed out with this community, and they have definitely not been parsed out with the public. She said that the federal statistical community needs to take some risks in this area and to have a carefully constructed conversation about privacy, and in her view the time to do that is now.
Wallman said that there is frequent miscommunication on the topic of administrative records, because often assumptions are made about how the data will be used without the specifics being discussed. She was reminded of this during Trépanier’s very clear presentation, which made her realize that she and her Canadian colleagues have been talking past one another about the use of tax data for the past few years. She clarified that the Census Bureau does have access to tax data for most of the functions that Statistics Canada does, short of actually using the records to replace missing data. Another example recalled by Wallman involved the discussions of extending authority to the Bureau of Labor Statistics to use tax records, and this dialogue was also hindered by miscommunications related to the type of use. Wallman ended by saying that she plans to advocate for more conversations about data sharing.