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User-focused threat identification for anonymised microdata

Hafner, Hans-Peter; Lenz, Rainer; Ritchie, Felix

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Hans-Peter Hafner

Rainer Lenz


When producing anonymised microdata for research, national statistics institutes (NSIs) identify a number of 'risk scenarios' of how intruders might seek to attack a confidential dataset. This paper argues that the strategy used to identify confidentiality protection measures can be seriously misguided, mainly since scenarios focus on data protection without sufficient reference to other aspects of data. This paper brings together a number of findings to see how the above problem can be addressed in a practical context. Using as an example the creation of a scientific use file, the paper demonstrates that an alternative perspective can have dramatically different outcomes.


Hafner, H., Lenz, R., & Ritchie, F. (2015). User-focused threat identification for anonymised microdata. Bristol

Publication Date Mar 1, 2015
Deposit Date Apr 15, 2015
Publicly Available Date Aug 28, 2016
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords statistical disclosure control, data protection, microdata anonymisation, anonymization, big data
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Additional Information Additional Information : Economics Working Paper Series No. 1503


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