Data Anonymization Key Concepts: Preserving Privacy

The growing privacy regulations and incidents of data breaches have made it increasingly challenging to store and share data in a safe and secure environment. To cope with this, organizations need to adopt techniques that can mask sensitive information for preserving the privacy of individuals.

Data anonymization is one such technique that removes or encrypts identifiers that relate an individual to the stored data. It doesn’t allow the information to be traced back to a specific individual, thus protecting privacy while also maintaining the data’s credibility.

Recently, UK’s Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) published a draft guidance that lays out the good practice recommendations for data anonymization. The guidance comes at a time when several states and nations are adopting laws to enhance the privacy of their citizens.

What is the need for data anonymization?

As an organization operating in different regions, it could get complicated to comply with the local data protection laws in the process of storing and sharing data. But data protection laws don’t apply to truly anonymous data. For instance, GDPR allows the collection, storage, and use of anonymized data without consent if all identifiers are removed from the data.