Microdata Linkage at Statistics Canada

Microdata linkage is an internationally recognized statistical method that maximizes the use of information to shed light on societal and economic questions. In particular, microdata linkage brings together information about an entity from two or more sources to form a combined microdata file about that same entity. This activity is conducted in accordance with Statistics Canada's Directive on Microdata Linkage, which has been in place since 1986.

Statistics Canada performs microdata linkages for the following purposes:

  • to support the design, maintenance, evaluation, research and redesign of ongoing data collection and methodological studies within Statistics Canada
  • to provide statistical information in aggregate or anonymous format in support of research studies.

As part of its governance over microdata linkages, Statistics Canada has pre-approved specific types of linkages. The linkages involved are those where the privacy risks and situations of potential conflict of interest are low and where procedures to mitigate risk to confidentiality and privacy are in place.

All other microdata linkages must undergo a prescribed review and approval process, which involves the submission of documented proposals to senior management. When such linkages include personal information, a summary of the approved microdata record linkage is posted on Statistics Canada's website.

If you have any questions about microdata linkage, please contact the Departmental Privacy Officer at the following address:

Linda Howatson-Leo
Departmental Privacy Officer
Information Management Division Director
Analytical Studies, Methodology and Statistical Infrastructure Field
Statistics Canada / Government of Canada
Linda.Howatson-Leo@canada.ca / Tel: 613-951-0466

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