The production of social statistics has been challenged in certain West European nations by the “privacy issue.” Privacy advocates contend thatcomputerized data files containing information about individuals endanger personal privacy and other civil liberties. The privacy issue has taken two forms: anti-census campaigns and data protection systems. Although those responsible for statistical data have traditionally safeguarded their records, they areoften drawn into this issue. Increasingly, they have had to deal with the sociopolitical environment through legislative liaisons, lawyers, and advertising agencies. They have also had to revise data collection and processing procedures. In some situations, they have had to suspend censuses and surveys.

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