Aug 232010
 August 23, 2010  Posted by  Court

Scott Jaschik reports:

A federal judge ruled last week that education researchers at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona can’t be forced to release records that identify individual teachers they interviewed for their studies, which have become part of a court battle. But the judge ruled that the names of schools and districts studied must be released.

The scholars involved promised confidentiality both to the teachers and to the schools and districts, so while faculty members cheered the part of the ruling protecting the names of teachers, they said the other part of the ruling could hinder research involving schools.

Read more on Inside Higher Ed.

This case provides a useful example of some of the concerns Paul Ohm raised in his recent article on how anonymization and de-identification have failed. Even if the teachers’ names are withheld, will it be possible to re-identify them based on other information in the database and by matching the records up against other available records? I would guess that it would be. But has the judge read Paul’s article?

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