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Operationalising ‘safe statistics’: The case of linear regression

Ritchie, Felix

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The recent growth in research access to confidential government microdata has prompted the development of more general 'output-based statistical disclosure control' (OSDC) methods which go beyond tabular protection. Central to OSDC is the concept of 'safe/unsafe statistics', allowing researchers and facility owners to make informed judgments about the types of research output that pose a disclosure risk. While increasingly accepted in specialist environments, in the wider community this novel approach causes some concern: how can 'safe' be unconditional? This paper therefore demonstrates the new approach using linear regression, a key research output, as an example. In doing so, the paper reconsiders the objectivity of SDC decision-making, arguing that ‘safety’ be explicitly acknowledged as a relative concept


Ritchie, F. (2014). Operationalising ‘safe statistics’: The case of linear regression. Bristol

Publication Date Nov 1, 2014
Publicly Available Date Jun 6, 2019
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords statistical disclosure control, output SDC, confidentiality, safe statistics, regression
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Additional Information Additional Information : Economics Working Paper Series No. 1410


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