Certificates of Confidentiality
Certificates of Confidentiality are documents issued by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to protect identifiable research information from forced disclosure. They allow the investigator and others who have access to research records to refuse to disclose identifying information on research participants in any civil, criminal, administrative, legislative, or other proceeding, whether at the federal, state, or local level.
Certificates of Confidentiality may be granted for studies collecting information that, if disclosed, could have adverse consequences for subjects or damage their financial standing, employability, insurability, or reputation. NIH Certificates of Confidentiality may be authorized for studies not funded by NIH (i.e., NIH funding is not a condition for receiving a Certificate of Confidentiality).