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- Within the secure data environment at Statistics Canada, source files are separated into Source Data Files (record IDs and analysis variables without personal identifiers) and Source Index Files (record IDs and personal identifiers without analysis variables).
- The Source Index Files are accessed within the record linkage production environment and linked to the Derived Record Depository (national longitudinal file of personal identifiers). The linked SDLE and record IDs are stored in the Key Registry (record IDs used as keys to find only those records needed for study).
- The Source Data Files are accessed within the linked analysis file production environment that uses keys from the Key Registry to create analysis files for approved studies only and with no personal identifiers.
- The SDLE program is governed by the Statistics Canada senior management. The Chief Statistician reviews and approves each record linkage proposal, and if the study is approved by the Chief Statistician, an analysis file is created.
- The output of this process is an Analytical Product (non-confidential aggregate data).