The primary purpose of a certificate of confidentiality is to

Answer: A Certificate of Confidentiality (CoC), as its name implies, is a document that allows institutions and agencies to safeguard sensitive and identifiable research information related to a study. The CoC’s main principle is that investigators are not required to reveal any research data protected by the certificate.


The CoC is a legal document that protects sensitive personal data of individuals who are the subject of research. It is issued by the National Institutes of Health and other US healthcare agencies.

This certificate guarantees that research subjects’ information is protected and not used without their permission. This certificate allows for high levels of confidentiality.

The Certificate of Confidentiality is designed to protect research participants from legal demands for identifiable information. Researchers can refuse to disclose information in administrative or criminal, civil, or legislative proceedings. Any organization that is granted the CoC can refuse to comply with any court order that a judge issues to make identifiable information about any participant in research public.

The CoC protects sensitive and identifiable information such as genetic information, illegal risk behaviour, mental health, sexual attitude, and other information. Any data that could reveal any personal information of a participant in protected research.

Researchers for the CoC need to ensure that all participants comply with the assurances provided in the application. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) must approve any project that is eligible for the Certificate of Confidentiality. They collect identifiable information as well as the types of information that could adversely affect an individual if it was disclosed. This information could include financial status, insurability and employability as well as health data.

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