Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Avoiding disclosure of individually identifiable health information: a literature review

Prada, Sergio I and Gonzalez, Claudia and Borton, Joshua and Fernandes-Huessy, Johannes and Holden, Craig and Hair, Elizabeth and Mulcahy, Tim (2011): Avoiding disclosure of individually identifiable health information: a literature review. Published in: SAGE Open (14. December 2011): pp. 1-16.

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Abstract

Achieving data and information dissemination without arming anyone is a central task of any entity in charge of collecting data. In this article, the authors examine the literature on data and statistical confidentiality. Rather than comparing the theoretical properties of specific methods, they emphasize the main themes that emerge from the ongoing discussion among scientists regarding how best to achieve the appropriate balance between data protection, data utility, and data dissemination. They cover the literature on de-identification and reidentification methods with emphasis on health care data. The authors also discuss the benefits and limitations for the most common access methods. Although there is abundant theoretical and empirical research, their review reveals lack of consensus on fundamental questions for empirical practice: How to assess disclosure risk, how to choose among disclosure methods, how to assess reidentification risk, and how to measure utility loss.

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