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Applying innovative disclosure control techniques to census data

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It can require much effort and time to produce a range of outputs from census-scale survey data that are safe to release. This may limit the range of outputs that can be produced and creates a time lag between the end of a survey and the publication of statistics. Using an innovative software from “The Sensible Code Company”, the UK National Statistics Office accelerated and simplified this process while maintaining the highest security and data protection standards.


The UK National Statistics Office will deploy the software in the 2021 national population census. Staff will be able to define data queries, run automatic checks to rule out impossible category combinations – such as “married children” – and publish results with almost no time delay. Furthermore, the software guarantees for the highest data privacy and security standards, since every task is conducted based on a technique that prevents any potential leaks of and inferences into private information such as the names and addresses of individuals. In general, this software enables statistical offices to conduct analyses, checks and publications of censuses more efficiently, and – potentially – it can be adopted in every statistics office whose policy framework allows the use of this innovative software.


(Picture: © UK Office for National Statistics)

Last modified
27 May 2021