Research SAFELINK - Specification and implementation of a privacy-preserving record-linkage procedure


German data protection laws demand high standards for the use of microdata. Data linkage is only possible if privacy of the data is preserved. Currently, data protection agencies approve such linkages on a case by case basis. This process is time-consuming and prone to data loss due to poor linkage procedures.

Project aims

The goal of this project is to develop procedures and programs, which allow record-linkage despite high demands while at the same time preserving privacy. The project will develop a standardized data trustee protocol for social research in Germany. Additionally, algorithms and programs for privacy-preserving record linkage will be developed.


The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).



Prof. Rainer Schnell (

The software can be downloaded at