Genuine protection of informant privacy requires us to take a field-centered approach. Rather than using an imposed notion of privacy, as defined by U.S. bureaucratic culture, we should regard the very concept of privacy as relative or culture-specific, to be defined in each case on the basis of empirical research in the field. We must then ask what privacy means to the people with whom we are working. The pre field commitment made by the anthropologist regarding protection of informants' privacy would then be general, to be translated into specific safeguards only after field research had determined the actual nature of privacy and the risks inherent in the particular field situation.