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STATEMENTS OF WITNESSES
Identification and Intelligence System ---
accompanied by Howard
Miller, Arthur R., professor of law, University of Michigan.
Business Machines Corp., Armonk, N.Y-
Statistics, Dr. Carl Kaysen, Chairman; to the Bureau of the Budget
create a regional data bank in the St. Louis region, dated February 2,
"To Preserve Privacy”, editorial from New York Times, August 9, 1966
Oniste (Creat.07.19H0 Tor I donela 1a y tiupai intasia
TUESDAY, MARCH 14, 1967
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:10 a.m., in room 1318 New Senate Office Building, Senator Edward V. Long of Missouri (chairman of the subcommittee), presiding.
Present: Senators Long of Missouri (presiding) and Thurmond.
Also present: Bernard Fensterwald, Jr., Chief Counsel; Bernard J. Waters, Senator Dirksen's office, Minority Counsel; and Benny L. Kass, Assistant Counsel.
Senator Long. The subcommittee will be in order.
This morning the Subcommittee on Administrative practice and Procedure resumes hearings on the role of the computer as a potential invasion of individual privacy. Last summer, we explored proposals to create a Federal Data Center—the so-called Data Banks—with Dr. Edgar Dunn, a consultant to the Bureau of the Budget. In my opening statement last year, I said that if these proposals for a Data Bank concern themselves only with Government interests, and if individual, private interests were ignored, we might be creating a form of Frankenstein monster.
Since that hearing, considerable thought has been given, both in and out of government, to problems of privacy. Scholars, statisticians, and computer experts have met with responsible government officials in scores of meetings and panel discussions. It is probably safe to say now that if a Federal Data Center is ever created, safeguards for individual privacy will be built into the system. In fact, many electronic specialists believe that greater safeguards can be programed into computer systems than those presently existing in the Government file cabinet.
Dr. Car] Kaysen, chairman of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, and Chairman of the President's Task Force on the Storage of and Access to Government Statistics, recently submitted his report on the Data Center to the Bureau of the Budget. In a precise and highly significant annex to this report, entitled "The Right to Privacy, Confidentiality and the National Data Center,” Dr. Kaysen writes:
In general, our Committee believes that the problem of the threat to privacy can be met best by Congressional action, which defines a general statutory standard governing the disclosure of information that is collected on individuals ...
Beginning this morning, we intend to analyze guidelines for safeguarding existing records; we will fully explore the role of the computer, with an emphasis on its future capabilities. We will attempt to draw a balance between individual privacy and computerized efficiency. In short, we will answer the request of the Kaysen Committee for procedures which "will protect confidentiality and insure the privacy of the individual."
But, as Dr. Kaysen correctly pointed out, this task is not for the Congress alone. Agencies and departments of the Federal Government must take stock of the various types of information contained in their own files before they can even consider consolidation into any data bank. Shortly after our last hearing, we began to realize that no one in Government really knew how much was stored on individual citizens. Accordingly, I sent a questionnaire to every Federal Department and agency asking them to list this information. The results of this survey have just been tabulated by the Census Bureau and they are to be commended for their excellent cooperation.
Let me briefly run down some of the immediate highlights of the subcommittee survey. First, the Government keeps files on just about every imaginable bit of information on an individual's life from the cradle to the grave. And the number of files is enormous. For example, Government reported that our names alone appeared in the files 2,800 million times. Our social security numbers are listed 1,500 million times. Other figures include: police records——264,500,000; medical history—342 million; and psychiatric history-279 million. With those type figures, they give you some need for psychiatric care.
Of course, these figures are somewhat meaningless since we do not know how many individuals are involved; every time we fill out some Government form, these numbers are increased. But what is of concern to us, however, are the following discoveries: many agencies require individuals to divulge personal information and yet give no pledge and are under no requirements to keep this information confidential. Included in this category are: court actions or involvements19,253,000; security reports-17,693,000; psychiatric history-107,000.
We have just received these statistics, and plan to study them in detail. But even from our preliminary analysis, it seems clear that many of our Government agencies must put their own house in order before rushing ahead with data bank plans.
The Chair is glad to note the distinguished Senator from South Carolina, a member of the committee, is present this morning.
Senator, would you have any statement or would you care to make any statement at the opening of the hearing?
Senator THURMOND. No, sir. I am very much interested in the subject and shall be pleased to cooperate with the distinguished Chairman.
Senator Long. Thank you, Senator. You always have, and we certainly look forward to having you with us in these hearings.
Our first witness this morning is Dr. Carl Kaysen, director, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University. The doctor, I understand, is at the table.
For the record, will you state your name and your official position and, I believe, you have a prepared statement.
STATEMENT OF CARL KAYSEN, DIRECTOR, INSTITUTE FOR AD
VANCED STUDY, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, PRINCETON, N.J. Dr. KAYSEN. I do, Senator, and if you like I will read it or should I just enter it into the record and summarize it?
Senator Long. Go ahead and read it if you care to or handle it whatever way you think will best make your presentation to the subcommittee.
Dr. KAYSEN. Thank you. I will read it and see if I can skip a little.
My name is Carl Kaysen. I live at 97 Olden Lane, Princeton, N.J. I am director of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. If I may, sir, off the record, observe it is not part of Princeton University.
By profession I am an economist, and it is in this capacity that I undertook the responsibility of being chairman of the task force on storage and access to Government statistics, that reported to the Director of the Budget. At the time I did so last year I was littauer professor of political economy and associate dean of the graduate school of public administration at Harvard University.
The purpose of the task force was to examine a problem in Government organization and operation which the members of the committee thought was of importance to the Government and to the public, looking at the problem from a perspective which most of us on the committee shared as users of Government statistics. As economists we are aware that both the intellectual development of economics and its practical success have depended greatly on the large body of quantitative information on the whole range of economic activity that is publicly available in modern, democratic states. Much of this material is the byproduct of regulatory, administrative, and revenue-raising activities of government, and its public availability reflects our democratic ethos. In the United States there is a central core of demographic, economic, and social information that is collected, organized, and published by the Census Bureau in response to both governmental and public demands for information, rather than simply as the reflex of other governmental activities. Over time, and especially in the last three or four decades, there has been a continuing improvement in the coverage, consistency, and quality of these data that has in great part resulted from the containing efforts of social scientists and statisticians both within and without the Government. Without these improvements in the stock of basic quantitative information, our recent success in the application of sophisticated economic analyses to problems of public policy would have been impossible. We were moved by professional concern for the quality and usability of the enormous body of Government data to take on what they thought to be a necessary, important, and totally unglamorous task. I think we turned out to be wrong about
this last part.
The central problem which the task force addressed was the consequences of the trend toward increasing decentralization in the Federal statistical system at a time when the demand for more and more detailed quantitative information was growing rapidly. Currently, 21 agencies of Government have significant statistical programs. The largest four of these—the Census, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the