Power BI Desktop privacy levels
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. Although a restrictive isolation level blocks information from being exchanged between data sources, it may reduce functionality and impact performance.
The Privacy Levels setting, found in File > Options and settings > Options and then Current File > Privacy determines whether Power BI Desktop uses your Privacy Level settings while combining data. This dialog includes a link to Power BI Desktop documentation about Privacy Levels and Privacy Levels (this article).
Configure a privacy level
With privacy level settings, you can specify an isolation level that defines the degree that one data source must be isolated from other data sources.
|Setting||Description||Example Data Sources|
|Private data source||A Private data source contains sensitive or confidential information, and the visibility of the data source may be restricted to authorized users. Data from a Private data source will not be folded to other sources (not even to other Private sources).||Facebook data, a text file containing stock awards, or a workbook containing employee review information.|
|Organizational data source||An Organizational data source limits the visibility of a data source to a trusted group of people. Data from an Organizational data source will not be folded to Public data sources, but may be folded to other Organizational data sources, as well as to Private data sources.||A Microsoft Word document on an intranet SharePoint site with permissions enabled for a trusted group.|
|Public data source||A Public data source gives everyone visibility to the data contained in the data source. Only files, internet data sources, or workbook data can be marked Public. Data from a Public data source may be freely folded to other sources.||Free data from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, data from a Wikipedia page, or a local file containing data copied from a public web page.|
Configure privacy level settings
The Privacy settings dialog for each data source is found in File > Options and settings > Data source settings.
To configure a data source privacy level, select the data source, then select Edit Permissions. The Edit Permissions dialog appears, from which you can select the appropriate privacy level from the drop-down menu at the bottom of the dialog, as shown in the following image.
You should configure a data source containing highly sensitive or confidential data as Private.
Configure Privacy Levels
Privacy Levels is set to Combine data according to your Privacy Level settings for each source by default, which means that Privacy Levels are enforced.
|Combine data according to your Privacy Level settings for each source (on, and the default setting)||Privacy level settings are used to determine the level of isolation between data sources when combining data.|
|Ignore the Privacy levels and potentially improve performance (off)||Privacy levels are not considered when combining data, however, performance and functionality of the data may increase.|
Security Note: Selecting Ignore the Privacy levels and potentially improve performance in the Privacy Levels dialog could expose sensitive or confidential data to an unauthorized person. Do not turn this setting to off unless you are confident that the data source does not contain sensitive or confidential data.
The Ignore the Privacy levels and potentially improve performance does not work in the Power BI service. As such, Power BI Desktop reports with this setting enabled, which are then published to the Power BI service, do not reflect this behavior when used in the service. However, the privacy levels are available on the personal gateway.
Configure Privacy Levels
In Power BI Desktop or in Query Editor, select File > Options and settings > Options and then Current File > Privacy.
a. When Combine data according to your Privacy Level settings for each source is selected, data will be combined according to your Privacy Levels setting. Merging data across Privacy isolation zones will result in some data buffering.
b. When Ignore the Privacy levels and potentially improve performance is selected, the data will be combined ignoring your Privacy Levels which could reveal sensitive or confidential data to an unauthorized user. The setting may improve performance and functionality.
Security Note: Selecting Ignore the Privacy levels and potentially improve performance may improve performance; however, Power BI Desktop cannot ensure the privacy of data merged into the Power BI Desktop file.
Submit and view feedback for