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Helper I
Helper I

Privacy Levels Consequences?

I would like to have some clarification on what is really happening when one selects Private/Organizational/Public privacy levels on PowerBI. The official website states that "In Power BI Desktop, privacy levels specify an isolation level that defines the degree that one data source will be isolated from other data sources."


Let's say I have a PowerBI Desktop file with 3 Power Query queries, all of which come from different tables under the same Oracle schema:

- What are the differences of selecting any of the privacy levels?

- What is a data source in this context? Each independent Power Query query? My Oracle schema?

- What does it really mean "isolation" of a data source?

- Selecting Public Privacy Level... Does this may expose any data in the future (when the report is distributed) or only during the refresh process?


Today PowerBI released a really cool feature - Using R in Query Editor. But one must select Public Privacy Level in order to use it. I'm wondering... if PowerBI is mainly targeting enterprises, why does it require to use Public Privacy Levels for things like these?

Not applicable

PrivateA Private data source is completely isolated from other data sources. Contains sensitive or confidential information.
OrganizationalAn Organizational data source is isolated from all Public data sources, but it is visible to other Organizational data sources
PublicA Public data source gives everyone visibility to the data contained in the data source

Here’s a brief summary that Ehren from the Power Query team sent me to better understand this:

  • Public data can be sent to Public/Organizational/Private sources.
  • Organizational data can be sent to Organizational/Private sources (but not to Public sources).
  • Private data can’t be sent anywhere (even to other Private sources).

Microsoft Employee
Microsoft Employee

Hi @lo_p_ez,

Firstly, privacy levels in Power BI Desktop control that which data sources are allowed to be combined with other data sources during query evaluation, for example, when you use Query Parameters feature in Desktop.

Data from public data sources can be passed to any other data source; data from organizational data sources can be passed to other organizational data sources, but not public data sources; and data from private data sources cannot be shared with any other data source, including other private data sources.

Secondly, you can check the data source via File > Options and settings > Data source settings, if you import the tables into Power BI Desktop using Get data option at a time, there is an single data source. If you import the tables separately using Get data option, there are multiple data sources.

For more details about privacy levels in Power BI Desktop, you can review Chapter 6 in this similar article.

Thirdly, it will not expose your published reports, dashboards or any part of Power BI to any other entity. For more details, please review this article.

Lydia Zhang

Community Support Team _ Lydia Zhang
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

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