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Data in SocietyChallenging Statistics in an Age of Globalisation$
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Jeff Evans, Sally Ruane, and Humphrey Southall

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447348214

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447348214.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

The creation and use of big administrative data

The creation and use of big administrative data

(p.23) 2 The creation and use of big administrative data
Data in Society

Harvey Goldstein

Ruth Gilbert

Policy Press

his chapter addresses data linkage which is key to using big administrative datasets to improve efficient and equitable services and policies. These benefits need to weigh against potential harms, which have mainly focussed on privacy. In this chapter we argue for the public and researchers to be alert also to other kinds of harms. These include misuses of big administrative data through poor quality data, misleading analyses, misinterpretation or misuse of findings, and restrictions limiting what questions can be asked and by whom, resulting in research not achieved and advances not made for the public benefit. Ensuring that big administrative data are validly used for public benefit requires increased transparency about who has access and whose access is denied, how data are processed, linked and analysed, and how analyses or algorithms are used in public and private services. Public benefits and especially trust require replicable analyses by many researchers not just a few data controllers. Wider use of big data will be helped by establishing a number of safe data repositories, fully accessible to researchers and their tools, and independent of the current monopolies on data processing, linkage, enhancement and uses of data.

Keywords:   Big data, data linkage, administrative data, data anonymization, data protection

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