Definition: Perturbation based disclosure control methods

Statistical methodologies

Techniques for the release of data that change the data before the dissemination in such a way that the disclosure risk for the confidential data is decreased but the information content is retained as far as possible. Perturbation based methods falsify the data before publication by introducing an element of error purposely for confidentiality reasons. For example, an error can be inserted in the cell values after a table is created, which means that the error is introduced to the output of the data and will therefore be referred to as output perturbation. The error can also be inserted in the original data on the microdata level, which is the input of the tables one wants to create; the method will then be referred to as data perturbation - input perturbation being the better but uncommonly used expression. Possible perturbation methods are: 
- rounding;
- perturbation, for example, by the addition of random noise or by the Post Randomisation Method;
- disclosure control methods for microdata applied to tabular data.
Source:
ESSNet SDC (Network of Excellence in the European Statistical System in the field of Statistical Disclosure Control), under the coordination of Anco HUNDEPOOL, "Handbook on Statistical Disclosure Control", version 1.2 (2010 Edition)
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