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Confidentiality and differential privacy in the dissemination of frequency tables

Rinott, Yosef, O’Keefe, Christine M., Shlomo, Natalie and Skinner, Chris J. (2018) Confidentiality and differential privacy in the dissemination of frequency tables. Statistical Science, 33 (3). pp. 358-385. ISSN 0883-4237

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Identification Number: 10.1214/17-STS641

Abstract

For decades, national statistical agencies and other data custodians have been publishing frequency tables based on census, survey and administrative data. In order to protect the confidentiality of individuals represented in the data, tables based on original data are modified before release. Recently, in response to user demand for more flexible and responsive table publication services, frequency table publication schemes have been augmented with on-line table generating servers such as the US Census Bureau FactFinder and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) TableBuilder. These systems allow users to build their own custom tables, and make use of automated perturbation routines to protect confidentiality. Motivated by the growing popularity of table generating servers, in this paper we study confidentiality protection for perturbed frequency tables, including the trade-off with analytical utility, focusing on a version of the ABS TableBuilder as a concrete example of a data release mechanism, and examining its properties. Confidentiality protection is assessed in terms of the differential privacy standard, and this paper can be used as a practical introduction to differential privacy, to calculations related to its application, to the relationship between confidentiality protection and utility, and to confidentiality in general.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.imstat.org/sts/
Additional Information: © 2018 Institute of Mathematical Statistics
Divisions: Statistics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Sets: Departments > Statistics
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2018 14:43
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 06:41
Projects: EP/K032208/1
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/86504

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