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Towards a Procedure to Anonymize Micro Data: Anonymizing Data from Offical Statistics for Public Use

Presenter 1
Katelijn Gysen
Swiss Centre of Expertise in the Social Sciences (FORS)

In general, the data collected by a national statistical office relies on large samples, regular data collection and mostly long time series, which makes the data interesting for secondary use. In order to give public access to this data, the issue of finding a good balance between the re-identification risk of the respondents and the utility of the data has to be dealt with. Several projects and publications in the field of Statistical Disclosure Control describe successfully the possiblities of statistics and have developed tools to anoymize; whereas little ha been published on thresholds to guarantee an acceptable balance between the re-identification risk and the data-utility. This presentation will give insight ot the work that has been done by FORS in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (SFSO) towards a procedure to anoymize data such that the data can be provided to the public. The procedure describes how to define and reach the required level of anonymity of a respondent. Of course, this procedure and the thresholds can be adjusted for any other dissemination of micro-data, e.g. survey data collected by researchers interested in making their data available for secondary use.

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