Anonymization vs. Deidentification

Anonymization is hard. Just like cryptography, most people are not qualified to build their own. Unlike cryptography, the research is far earlier stage, and the pre-built code is virtually unavailable.”

Deidentification doesn’t tend to successfully anonymize data because there are so many sources of data in the world that still have identifying information in them; figure out where some identified dataset and the deidentified data align, and you’ve re-identified the dataset. If the dataset was anonymized, it would have been transformed such that re-identification was impossible, no matter what other information the attacker has to hand.”

Details from the International Association of Privacy Professionals