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Verification servers: Enabling analysts to assess the quality of inferences from public use data

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  • Reiter, Jerome P.
  • Oganian, Anna
  • Karr, Alan F.

Abstract

To protect confidentiality, statistical agencies typically alter data before releasing them to the public. Ideally, although generally not done, the agency also provides a way for secondary data analysts to assess the quality of inferences obtained with the released data. Quality measures can help secondary data analysts to identify inaccurate conclusions resulting from the disclosure limitation procedures, as well as have confidence in accurate conclusions. We propose a framework for an interactive, web-based system that analysts can query for measures of inferential quality. As we illustrate, agencies seeking to build such systems must consider the additional disclosure risks from releasing quality measures. We suggest some avenues of research on limiting these risks.

Suggested Citation

  • Reiter, Jerome P. & Oganian, Anna & Karr, Alan F., 2009. "Verification servers: Enabling analysts to assess the quality of inferences from public use data," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 1475-1482, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:csdana:v:53:y:2009:i:4:p:1475-1482
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jerome P. Reiter, 2005. "Releasing multiply imputed, synthetic public use microdata: an illustration and empirical study," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(1), pages 185-205.
    2. Karr, A.F. & Kohnen, C.N. & Oganian, A. & Reiter, J.P. & Sanil, A.P., 2006. "A Framework for Evaluating the Utility of Data Altered to Protect Confidentiality," The American Statistician, American Statistical Association, vol. 60, pages 224-232, August.
    3. John M. Abowd & Simon D. Woodcock, 2004. "Multiply-Imputing Confidential Characteristics and File Links in Longitudinal Linked Data," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2004-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrés F. Barrientos & Alexander Bolton & Tom Balmat & Jerome P. Reiter & John M. de Figueiredo & Ashwin Machanavajjhala & Yan Chen & Charles Kneifel & Mark DeLong, 2017. "A Framework for Sharing Confidential Research Data, Applied to Investigating Differential Pay by Race in the U. S. Government," NBER Working Papers 23534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Dr. Jörg Höhne & Julia Höninger, 2012. "Morpheus – Remote access to micro data with a quality measure," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 203, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).

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