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George C. Alter photo

BCC-SBE: Sharing Geo-referenced Research Data with a Virtual Data Enclave

a PSC Research Project

Investigator:   George C. Alter

Agreement between Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan and the Association of American Geographers (AAG) for participation in 'Sharing Geo-referenced Research Data with a Virtual Data Enclave'

This project will develop and test procedures for using a Virtual Data Enclave (VDE) to provide secure access to locationally identifiable geo-spatial data. The VDE presents the user a complete desktop operating system, which is running on a server at University of Michigan. The VDE desktop opens in a window on the user?s desktop, but the two systems (VDE and user?s local desktop) are completely independent of and separate from each other. Files cannot be moved across systems. Users working in the VDE cannot download the data files; cannot copy and paste files to another location; can only access restricted files when logged onto the ICPSR secure system; can only access the system via approved IP addresses; can only access a designated suite of programs; and can receive only printouts or results that have been reviewed for disclosure risk. All files created within the VDE will be subject to review for disclosure risk before delivery to the researcher outside the VDE and researchers are only able to remove data analysis, not actual data.

ICPSR will
* host data in its repository and provide access through its VDE technology during this project
* provide two virtual machines in year 1 and six virtual machines in year 2 with appropriate software for GIS applications
* will assist users in establishing data use agreements for restricted-access data
* help users with VDE software and authentication procedures
* work with AAG in the development of standards and procedures for reviewing disclosure risks in output from geographic analysis

Funding Period: 09/15/2012 to 08/31/2015

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