Disclosure risk assessment in statistical microdata protection via advanced record linkage

Josep Domingo-Ferrer, Vicenç Torra

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

    36 Citations (Scopus)


    The performance of Statistical Disclosure Control (SDC) methods for microdata (also called masking methods) is measured in terms of the utility and the disclosure risk associated to the protected microdata set. Empirical disclosure risk assessment based on record linkage stands out as a realistic and practical disclosure risk assessment methodology which is applicable to every conceivable masking method. The intruder is assumed to know an external data set, whose records are to be linked to those in the protected data set; the percent of correctly linked record pairs is a measure of disclosure risk. This paper reviews conventional record linkage, which assumes shared variables between the external and the protected data sets, and then shows that record linkage - and thus disclosure - is still possible without shared variables.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)343-354
    JournalStatistics and Computing
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2003


    • Disclosure risk for microdata
    • Record linkage
    • Reidentification
    • Statistical disclosure control


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