A general formulation of the secondary cell suppression problem

Statistical agencies have to ensure that respondents’ private information cannot be revealed from the tables they release. A well-known protection method is cell suppression, where values that provide too much information are left out  from the table to be published. In a first step, sensitive cell values are suppressed. This is called primary suppression. In a second step, other values are suppressed as well to exclude that primarily suppressed values can be re-calculated from the values published in the table. This second step is called secondary cell suppression