Background: Sharing research data uses resources effectively; enables large, diverse data sets; and supports rigor and reproducibility. However, sharing such data increases privacy risks for participants who may be re-identified by linking study data to outside data sets. These risks have been investigated for genetic and medical records but rarely for environmental data. Objectives: We evaluated how data in environmental health (EH) studies may be vulnerable to linkage and we investigated, in a case study, whether environmental measurements could contribute to inferring latent categories (e.g., geographic location), which increases privacy risks.
Boronow, Katherine E., Laura J. Perovich, Latanya Sweeney, Ji Su Yoo, Ruthann A. Rudel, Phil Brown, and Julia Green Brody. "Privacy Risks of Sharing Data from Environmental Health Studies." Environmental Health Perspectives 128.1 (January 2020).