Hospitals and health care organizations collect large amounts of detailed health care data that is in high demand by researchers. Thus, the possessors of such data are in need of methods that allow for this data to be released without compromising the confidentiality of the individuals to whom it pertains. As the geographic aspect of this data is becoming increasingly relevant for research being conducted, it is important for an anonymization process to pay due attention to the geographic attributes of such data. In this paper, a novel system for health care data anonymization is presented. At the core of the system is the aggregation of an initial regionalization guided by the use of a Voronoi diagram. We conduct a comparison with another location-based system of anonymization, GeoLeader. We show that our system is capable of producing results of a comparable quality with a much faster running time.

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Keywords data anonymization, geographic aggregation, geographic partitioning, health care, health care data, Location-based anonymization, Voronoi diagram
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Journal International Journal of Geographical Information Science
Croft, W.L. (William Lee), Shi, W, Sack, J.-R, & Corriveau, J. (2016). Location-based anonymization: comparison and evaluation of the Voronoi-based aggregation system. International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 30(11), 2253–2275. doi:10.1080/13658816.2016.1172314