Go to Statistics Portal

INFERENTIAL DISCLOSURE

Statistics Directorate    
Definition:
Inferential disclosure occurs when information can be inferred with high confidence from statistical properties of the released data. For example, the data may show a high correlation between income and purchase price of a home. As the purchase price of a home is typically public information, a third party might use this information to infer the income of a data subject.

Context:
In general, NSIs are not concerned with inferential disclosure for two reasons. First, a major purpose of statistical data is to enable users to infer and understand relationships between variables. If NSIs equated disclosure with inference, no data could be released. Second, inferences are designed to predict aggregate behaviour, not individual attributes, and thus often poor predictors of individual data values.

Source Publication:
Statistics Netherlands, Statistics Canada, Germany FSO, University of Manchester, 2005, Glossary of Statistical Disclosure Control, incorporated in paper presented at Joint UNECE/Eurostat work session on statistical data confidentiality, Geneva, 9-11 October 2005.

Statistical Theme: Methodological information (metadata)

Created on Thursday, November 10, 2005

Last updated on Wednesday, November 30, 2005