Affiliations: [a] Centre for Social Research Methods, The Australian National University, ACTON, ACT, Australia | [b] The Social Research Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Corresponding author: Sonia Whiteley, Centre for Social Research & Methods, The Australian National University, ACTON, ACT 2601, Australia. Tel.: +61 3 9236 8500; Fax: +61 3 9326 4060; E-mail:[email protected]
Abstract: Effective management of microdata acknowledges that there is no `single fix'
that will adequately address all of the potential risks associated with
releasing unit record information. Different methods used to maximise data
security have different risks and all data confidentialisation methods limit
the usefulness of the underlying data . We have developed an approach
to data management and release that takes a balanced view of potential
re-identification or disclosure threats and prioritises data utility while
actively addressing more probable risk scenarios. This balanced approach to risk management will be discussed in relation to
the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) which is conducted every
three years to measure children's development as they enter their first year
of formal schooling. AEDC data is collected through a teacher-completed,
online checklist that measures five areas of early childhood development.
Issues relating to risk and the research community, data management risk
mitigation strategies, microdata access modalities and the implications of
sharing the risk between academics and the data custodians will be explored.
Keywords: Risk management, data utility, survey data, census, early childhood education, data management, confidentialisation, microdata