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Preserving Data Confidentiality for SIPP

November 15, 2023

Providing access to data while preserving data confidentiality poses ongoing challenges for major surveys like the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). With many databases containing personal information, privacy risks for SIPP respondents have increased. Westat’s Tom Krenzke, MS, served on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine ad-hoc Panel that contributed to a new report that addressed this issue.

Published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the report “A Roadmap for Disclosure Avoidance in the Survey of Income and Program Participation” outlines strategies for making SIPP data available to researchers and policymakers while protecting respondent confidentiality. It examines evolving privacy risks, new privacy protection methods, linking administrative records, SIPP data products, and timely data access. Ultimately, the report aims to balance privacy safeguards with access to valid, timely data that informs vital research and policy.

“There are high risk aspects of SIPP, such as its longitudinal structure and administrative data. It demands the very best mix of data treatment options available, including risk assessments, tiers of access, synthetic data, flexible table generators and remote analysis systems, formal privacy and small area estimation. The roadmap provides a realistic path where state-of-the-art approaches can be implemented systematically over time, which can be applied to other large scale surveys and data disseminations.”  ~ Tom Krenzke


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