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© 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved. This chapter gives an introduction to the data linkage environment. It starts with an exploration of the law and the linkage of personal data, outlining why a special data linkage environment is a legal necessity. The key elements of the environment that may allow a data stewardship organisation to assert that data are functionally anonymous is then outlined. The main ways that these elements are organised into models is then identified. Looking across existing centres around the world, a number of the 'archetypal' models for data access and data linkage can be identified. The chapter provides an outline of these models outlined. Finally, four case studies from different parts of the world are discussed. These relate to population data of British Columbia, the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) Databank of the U.K., Centre for Data Linkage (CDL) of Australia, and Centre for Health Record Linkage (CHeReL), Australia.

Original publication





Book title

Methodological Developments in Data Linkage

Publication Date



36 - 62