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Heike Wirth

In: The SAGE Handbook of Survey Methodology

Chapter 32: Analytical Potential Versus Data Confidentiality – Finding the Optimal Balance

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Analytical Potential Versus Data Confidentiality – Finding the Optimal Balance
Analytical potential versus data confidentiality finding the optimal balance
Heike Wirth

The need to protect respondents’ privacy and researchers’ need for the most detailed data possible are often in conflict. This is particularly true for data produced by statistical offices. Many statistical solutions have been proposed to overcome the trade-off between data confidentiality and data utility. However, this conflict cannot be resolved satisfactorily by statistical measures alone. Utility and privacy are linked, and, as long as data are useful, there will always remain some disclosure risk, even if it is miniscule. All statistical disclosure control methods lead to a loss of information either in the range of analyses or in the validity of estimations and thus ...

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