German data protection laws demand high standards on the application and linkage of microdata. Such linkages are only possible when strictly preserving the privacy of the data. Currently, data protection agencies decide on the admission of such linkages on a case by case basis. This process is a tedious and time-consuming authorization procedure.

Project description

The goal of this project is to develop procedures and programs, which allow record-linkage despite high demands concerning factual privacy-preservation. The program will develop a standard data trustee protocol for social research in Germany. Additionaly, algorithms and programs for data privacy-preserving linkages, based on Church, T. and P. Christen (2004) will be developed.

Church, T. and P. Christen (2004): Some Methods for Blindfolded Record-Linkage, BioMed Central Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 4:(9th article).


Krebsregister Hessen
Ukrainian Cancer Registry
Krebsregister Rheinland-Pfalz

Merge Toolbox (MTB)

The record linkage program "Merge Toolbox" (MTB) was successfully used in several projects. Among others, co-operation partners were:

IAB, Institute for Employment Research
Institute of Economic and Social Research in the Hans Boeckler Foundation (WSI)
infas - Institute for Applied Social Sciences


PDF Download Poster "Record Linkage with the Merge Toolbox"

Poster 'Record Linkage with the Merge Toolbox'