[Margaret] We know that in today’s world we
all create digital traces throughout the day in the course of our normal human activity. All of these digital traces create information
that is potentially used by others for commercial purposes or marketing purposes. It is also potentially used for evidence building
to improve policy making. Balancing the potential use of that data with
the need to protect confidentiality is the purpose, is the goal, of ICPSR’s new Researcher
Passport program. The Researcher Passport is a way that a trusted
researcher can identify themselves to a repository or data archive. A data custodian who is responsible for sensitive data. So just like a passport issued by a country
allows other countries to verify who you are and they can issue a Visa that gives you permission
to enter their country under particular conditions, the Researcher Passport will be issued to
researchers to allow them to present their credentials as a trusted researcher to a data
repository that will then issue a Visa that provides them with access to the data. The combination of the Passport verifying
the individual and the Visa asserting that that individual has completed the requisite
training and is using the right kind of computing facilities to access the data will allow scientific
progress while protecting confidentiality.