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Disclosure Control

Maintaining the confidentiality of information about individuals or organisations is becoming increasingly important in both business and government. At the same time, it is important to balance these privacy requirements with the need to maintain as much information content as possible in distributed data.

There are two main approaches to controlling the disclosure of confidential data:

  • Changing 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 much as possible.
  • Reducing the information content of the data provided to the external user by concealing sensitive values. Confidential data values are replaced by a symbol indicating that the value is non-zero.

Applying confidentiality to tabular data has traditionally been a manual, time-consuming, and error-prone process. However, SuperSTAR addresses this problem by offering a number of statistical disclosure control techniques that you can automatically apply to your data to reduce the risk of disclosing information on individuals, businesses or other organisations.

SuperSTAR Confidentiality Plugin

This section describes the confidentiality plugin that is supplied with SuperSTAR. The plugin provides two types of rule that can be applied to your data:

  • Random rounding rules (for example, rounding very small cell values up or down).
  • Cell suppression rules (for example, suppressing cells that only have a small number of contributors).

Learn more about the supplied confidentiality plugin.

Other Disclosure Control Options

SuperSTAR is also supplied with other plugins you can use for disclosure control, including the Perturbation plugin, which can also be used to adjust cell values by small amounts.

You can also write your own plugin, using the Data Control API.

Space-Time Research does not warrant that use of any of these plugins will provide complete data protection for your particular circumstances. Please contact Space-Time Research support ( for advice on the appropriate approach for your processing needs.

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