Catalog of Holdings

Study Report

Study Number: ZA-028-001-1-1-NA-CASC-2004

Subject Area: Refernce Materials in Machine Readable Form

Bibliographic Citation: ARGUS: a statistical disclosure control (SDC) tool.  [machine-readable data file] / Statistical Netherlands  [principal investigator(s)] / Computational Aspects of Statistical Confidentiality  [distributor].

Date Accessioned: 2/23/2005

Number of Files Received: 0

Comments: This tool was obtained from a workshop, Statistical Disclosure Control for Data Confidentiality organized by the Center for Demography of Health and Aging at UW-Madison. For a current version of this software, please visit the Computational Aspects of Statistical Confidentiality (CASC) web site. U-Argus version 4.1 can now read in SPSS files.

Access Status: Unrestricted

Date Ordered: 11/10/2004

Documentation: Hard copy and machine-readable. A Handbook on Statistical Disclosure Control (SDC) is available from this site. This handbook provides very useful information on SDC.

Abstract: Statistical Disclosure Control (SDC) has attracted much attention recently. As personal computers become more powerful, it is easier to conduct complex statistical analysis and to link files from different data sources. This presents increasing chances of breaking confidentiality by re-identifying business entities or individuals from public-use data. Several statistical agencies in the European Union have taken on the challenges of the legal confidentiality requirements versus the increased data needs and capabilities of researchers and policy-makers. The Computational Aspects of Statistical Confidentiality (CASC) project is the result of this collaboration, which took place from 2001-2003. The CASC project comprises not only statistical theories and methods, but also the development of the ARGUS software, available from the CASC web site at

ARGUS was developed under Windows NT and runs under Windows versions from Windows 95. It was first written in Borland C++ and then converted to Visual C++ with its user interface written in Visual Basic. The stated goal of ARGUS is to “modify unsafe data in such a way that safe (enough) data emerge, with minimum information loss.” In this way, data producers can safely release the data toresearchers and the public. The ARGUS software has two components for achieving statistical disclosure control. The µ-ARGUS component is for safeguarding microdata, while t-ARGUS is designed to make tabular data safer. ARGUS allows users to easily apply the various SDC theories and methods incorporated in its features. In addition, it documents any changes made to the original microdata. In the end, ARGUS produces a safe data set and a complete document of the SDC process.

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