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Open Access Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

The Privacy Dilemma for Official Statistics in a Big Data World

  • Open or Close Steve Mac Feely*

    Department of Statistics and Information, University College Cork, Ireland

    *Corresponding author: Steve Mac Feely, Head of Statistics and Information, United Conference on Trade and Development, Switzerland Adjunct Professor, Centre for Policy Studies, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland

Submission: May 08, 2018; Published: June 15, 2018

DOI: 10.31031/OABB.2018.02.000526

ISSN 2578-0247
Volume2 Issue1


Over recent years the potential of big data for government, for business, for society has excited much comment, debate and even evangelism. Described as the ‘new science’ with all the answers [1] or a paradigm destroying phenomena of enormous potential [2] big data are all the rage. Official statisticians, already with a long history of using non-survey data, which are often very large in terms of volume, must decide whether big data is really something new and useful or just hype. On the one hand, some argue that big data needs to be seen as an entirely new ecosystem comprising new data, new tools and methods [3]. Whereas others argue to the contrary that big data is just hype and that big data are just Data [4]. In deciding whether big data can be useful for official statistics, National Statistics Offices (NSOs) must keep the protection of confidential data at the top of their decision making tree.

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