On the disclosure risk of multivariate microaggregation

Jordi Nin, Javier Herranz, Vicenç Torra

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of data protection methods is to protect a microdata file both minimizing the disclosure risk and preserving the data utility. Microaggregation is one of the most popular such methods among statistical agencies. Record linkage is the standard mechanism used to measure the disclosure risk of a microdata protection method. However, only standard, and quite generic, record linkage methods are usually considered, whereas more specific record linkage techniques can be more appropriate to evaluate the disclosure risk of some protection methods. In this paper we present a new record linkage technique, specific for microaggregation, which obtains more correct links than standard techniques. We have tested the new technique with MDAV microaggregation and two other microaggregation methods, based on projections, that we propose here for the first time. The direct consequence is that these microaggregation methods have a higher disclosure risk than believed up to now.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-412
Number of pages14
JournalData and Knowledge Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Data projection
  • Disclosure risk
  • Microaggregation
  • Privacy in statistical databases
  • Record linkage


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