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Mosaic effect

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Definitions Edit

The mosaic effect (also called pointillist effect)

occurs when the information in an individual dataset, in isolation, may not pose a risk of identifying an individual (or threatening some other important interest such as security), but when combined with other available information, could pose such risk. Before disclosing potential PII or other potentially sensitive information, agencies must consider other publicly available data — in any medium and from any source — to determine whether some combination of existing data and the data intended to be publicly released could allow for the identification of an individual or pose another security concern.[1]
[is t]he process of combining anonymised data with auxiliary data in order to reconstruct identifiers linking data to the individual it relates to.[2]

References Edit

  1. OMB Memorandum M-13-13, at 4-5.
  2. Open Data White Paper: Unleashing the Potential, at 7.

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