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Present privacy legislation attempts to guarantee that as we give information to organizations for legitimate needs, we retain some control over its use, are protected against its misuse or abuse, and have a legal basis for redress if something goes wrong. The Privacy Act of 1974 created the Privacy Protection Study Commission. It is to examine the recordkeeping practices of the federal government, state governments, local governments and private industry, and to make recommendations for extending the Privacy Act, or creating other legislative controls to deal with the privacy issue. The National Center for Health Statistics deals with confidential personal information, which will have to be protected. To comply with the Privacy Act, individuals should probably be informed that information given to physicians or hospitals will be forwarded to state or federal agencies for assessment of health care delivery and will be protected as confidential and precautions taken to assure anonymity.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.