Synthetic data set of human trafficking victims could allow big data work without privacy compromises

“Administrative data on identified cases of human trafficking represent one of the main sources of data available but such information is highly sensitive,” said IOM program coordinator Harry Cook in a news release describing the data set.

“IOM has been delighted to work with Microsoft Research over the past two years to make progress on the critical challenge of sharing such data for analysis while protecting the safety and privacy of victims.”

The option taken by Microsoft Research is to use the original data as the basis for a synthetic data set that retains all the important statistical relationships of the source but none of the identifiable information.

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