FAQ: How do I justify requests for potentially identifiable information?

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The approval process for access to data from Population Data BC is based on a minimum rights model. Only the minimum amount of data required to carry out an approved research project is provided to a researcher. For example, it is very common for researchers to investigate populations based on their age, or where they live. Exact birth dates or full postal codes are not required to identify these populations. Instead, only the minimum amount of information - month and year of birth and three-digit postal codes - are provided. Data is provided in this way to limit the possibility of identifying individuals.

Consequently, data at the LHA, Census Subdivision, Census Tract, Dissemination Area, and six-digit postal code level are not approved for release unless adequate justification is given to the relevant Data Steward. The same is true for full birth date and full death date.

If your research project requires one or more of these data fields, then you must include with your Data Access Request application a detailed written justification of why the research project cannot be completed without these fields.

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Page last revised: November 18, 2013