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From |
Jeph Herrin <junk@spandrel.net> |

To |
statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu |

Subject |
Re: st: AW: utility to create fake dataset? |

Date |
Sun, 08 Nov 2009 15:56:49 -0500 |

Daljit, Thank you, yes, data masking is what I want, the key element being to "replace data with realistic but not real data." For instance, a dataset of health insurance claims data may have not only obvious identifiers such as name, address, social security (US national ID, sort of) number - these can be easily blanked out, but they aren't used for analysis anyway. More critically, current US regulations would say that data including a procedure, sex, age, and admission date can not be moved off a secure site, as they are potentially enough info to identify an individual. Sometimes I am able to have this data locally, other times I am not - in the latter case, I sometimes create a fake dataset which has the exact variables, but with random data replacing the real data. Then I can work locally to develop programs which I can then run remotely on the server, as working remotely is very inefficient. If I am only concerned about age, sex, and admission date, it's fairly simply to replace each with random variables that have the same mean as the real ones and just go from there. Other times, a dataset may have tens of variables (eg, lab data) that must be masked. So I would like a utility that is invoked like this mask [varlist] and it does all the work for me. This is fairly straightforward to write, but I thought that people who'd thought about this might have found more clever ways to ensure that a real dataset can not possible be re-engineered from a fake one. cheers, Jeph Daljit Dhadwal wrote:

It sounds like youre trying to create anonymized data sets. There are lots of different names for the techniques for doing this: data masking, data anonymization, data obfuscation, data de-identification, data depersonalization, data scrubbing, and data scrambling. Here’s the Wikipedia article on data masking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_masking Here’s a good powerpoint presentation that discusses some of the techniques used in data masking: http://www.cs.uky.edu/events/dmSec08.ppt Thanks, Daljit On Sun, Nov 8, 2009 at 9:32 AM, Martin Weiss <martin.weiss1@gmx.de> wrote:<> ************* h clonevar ************* comes to mind... HTH Martin -----Ursprüngliche Nachricht----- Von: owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu [mailto:owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu] Im Auftrag von Jeph Herrin Gesendet: Sonntag, 8. November 2009 18:20 An: statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu Betreff: st: utility to create fake dataset? I sometimes need to create a "fake" dataset that "looks? like an existing dataset. For example, a dataset that must, for health privacy reasons, remain on a remote server, and I would like to develop code locally to run on it. Or, I need to make mock tables to share with colleagues who need to remain blinded for now to actual study data. Usually, I just do something that seems "good enough", like sample 5%, expand 20, replace values with random values, etc. Or, in an extreme case, set obs to be twice the existing obs and keep the ones with missing data. But the first is not very satisfying when I need to reassure higher powers that I have a "dummy" dataset, and the second is not very helpful for writing final useable code. So, I'm thinking I'll write a utility to create a 'dummy' dataset from an existing dataset, but wondered if there was something out there already. Perhaps there is even a well established name for this process? My searches for "dummy" and "fake" dataset have not been fruitful. thanks, Jeph * * For searches and help try: * http://www.stata.com/help.cgi?search * http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/ * * For searches and help try: * http://www.stata.com/help.cgi?search * http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/* * For searches and help try: * http://www.stata.com/help.cgi?search * http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/

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**References**:**st: utility to create fake dataset?***From:*Jeph Herrin <junk@spandrel.net>

**Re: st: AW: utility to create fake dataset?***From:*Daljit Dhadwal <ddhadwal@gmail.com>

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