Data Definition and Process
RULE OF THREE (3) DEFINITIONS:
ACCSP partners defined confidential
data in the Program Design Document using the "rule of 3" for commercial catch
and effort data. The "rule of 3" is defined as: Any fisheries data that would
identify a single fisheries entity.
There is a report for the total landings of purple striped jellyfish in
2005. If less than three dealers
purchased that jellyfish for that year then it is a violation of the fisheries rule
of three to show any totals of landings. OR; if less than three fishermen catch
and land that jellyfish, then it is a violation of the fisheries rule of three
to show any totals of landings.
ACCSP confidentiality applies to catch
and effort data. Under current NOAA Fisheries rule, bycatch
data observed on a mandatory commercial or for-hire trip are not considered
confidential. Recreational data collected by the MRFSS are also not considered
Suggestions on data usage and summarization prior to distribution:
Trip level data is powerful and often
necessary to perform detailed analyses. Confidential access to trip level data
is provided specifically for this purpose. However, data must be summarized
prior to presentation and/or distribution.
Be aware that
simply removing participant (dealer, fisherman, and vessel) name is not
sufficient to ensure confidentiality of ACCSP data. In some cases, an annual
summary by state and species is still confidential because only one or two
dealers process the catch. Alternatively, if there is only one known harvester
in a state, their identity is implicit. Any time data can be traced back to a
single trip or a single harvester (even when it is implicit), data should be
pooled for presentation purposes. Pooling may be done across years or areas
(states) to best fit the intended presentation or analysis (i.e. group several
states when one state has only one harvester). Alternatively, data cells with
confidential information can be masked with another symbol (*) and the totals
adjusted downward for presentation to ensure the confidential data cannot be
determined by subtraction. When
presenting minimum or maximum data, or range of values data, users should
present the information so that it summarizes the data to at least 3
participants, such as a histogram of data in a several categories (e.g.
<500, 500-1000, >1000), or statements such as 90% of the data falls
between [low value] and [high value].
It is the sole responsibility of the
person extracting confidential data from ACCSP to ensure that confidential data
are not disclosed via presentation, publication, or other distribution. Users
will be held accountable for any violations by the partner granting access.
ACCSP acts as
the stewards of the data owned by the program partners. Therefore the
confidentiality laws, rules, and regulations of the Partner that originally
collected the data apply and shall prevail.
Penalties for distribution of confidential data vary by partner and are
listed on http://www.accsp.org/dataware.htm.
data access is governed by the ACCSP Program Design Document (November 2004) section
on confidential data (pages 15-17). See
information is that which is "identifiable with any person or entity and
prohibited by law from being disclosed to the public. It is data used as a
basis for reasoning, discussion or calculations that a person may submit,
either voluntarily or as required by Federal or State statute." Vessel and
individual identifiers are masked from non-confidential users in the ACCSP data
warehouse. Confidential data can only be disclosed to or accessed by authorized
users. Data are only to be released to the public in aggregate form, such that
the identity of the submitter(s) cannot be determined either from the present
release alone or in combination with other releases.
Program's confidentiality policy is a strict interpretation of the Fisheries Rule
of Three, that is three or more submitters have reported a species for a given
time period. Procedures to guide non-disclosure of confidential data include:
Ø Questions on release of data must be
referred to the partner who originally collected the data, as the
confidentiality laws, rules and regulations of that partner shall prevail. All
authorized users must consent in writing, to comply with state and federal
non-disclosure policies and written statements.
Ø In the event of disclosure of
confidential data, the ACCSP shall cooperate fully by providing whatever
information is available to identify the user who released the data and/or
which Partner supplied the data in question. At the discretion of the supplying
Partner, the ACCSP will revoke access to the user in question.
Ø All subpoenas intended to obtain data
from the ACCSP data management system shall be forwarded immediately to the
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's legal counsel. Counsel will make
a determination how to handle each subpoena.