Trustworthy Systems

Privacy in elections: How small is "small"?


Annabelle McIver, Tahiry Rabehaja, Roland Wen and Carroll Morgan


Macquarie University

University of New South Wales

UNSW Sydney


We study the impact on privacy in results reporting in elections. In the interests of transparency election commissions report details of aggregated vote counts; in the interests of privacy some of that information must be suppressed. We apply recent advances in Quantitative Information Flow (QIF) to describe several privacy properties in order to study the trade-off between transparency and privacy in results reporting. We show that for some properties the impact on privacy in releasing detailed results data is minimal; on the other hand we identify some privacy properties that potentially reveal a great deal of information making results reporting in small batches problematic.

BibTeX Entry

    author           = {McIver, Annabelle and Rabehaja, Tahiry and Wen, Roland and Morgan, Carroll},
    date             = {2017-10-1},
    issue            = {1},
    journal          = {Journal of Information Security and Applications},
    month            = oct,
    pages            = {112-126},
    paperurl         = {},
    publisher        = {Elsevier},
    title            = {Privacy in elections: How small is "small"?},
    volume           = {36},
    year             = {2017}