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Disclosure Avoidance Practices and Research at the U.S. Census Bureau: An Update

Laura Zayatz
Component ID: #ti36605466


The U.S. Census Bureau collects its survey and census data under Title 13 of the U.S. Code. This prevents the Census Bureau from releasing any data “...whereby the data furnished by any particular establishment or individual under this title can be identified.” In addition to Title 13, the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA) requires the protection of information collected or acquired for exclusively statistical purposes under a pledge of confidentiality. In addition, the agency has the responsibility of releasing data for the purpose of statistical analysis. Thus, the goal is to release as much high quality data as possible without violating the pledge of confidentiality (Doyle, et al, 2002). We apply disclosure avoidance techniques prior to publicly releasing our data products to protect the confidentiality of our respondents and their data. This paper discusses the various types of data we release, our disclosure review process, restricted access procedures, disclosure avoidance techniques currently being used, and current disclosure avoidance research. It is an update to Zayatz, Massell, and Steel (1999).

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