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Steel PM. Disclosure Risk Assessment for Microdata. U. S. Census Bureau, Statistical Disclosure Control research paper, 2004

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Link: http://www.census.gov/srd/sdc/Steel_Disclosure_Risk_Assessment_for_Microdata.pdf

Overview:
This report is a good summary of risk assessment methods and issues written by Phil Steel of the Census Bureau. The paper begins with an overview of privacy regulations and provides a basic set of definitions of types of disclosure and concepts of risk. It talks about the importance of defining the intrusion scenario as the first step in a risk assessment and then selecting an appropriate risk measure. Various methods of estimating various risk measures in data with large sample sizes are discussed each with different strengths and weaknesses (none of these are particularly well-suited for cancer data since the samples sizes are relatively small). A nice example of simple risk estimation based on a simple scenario is presented. The report concludes with a note that it is important to keep up-to-date about the types of data sources and tools available to a potential intruder.