The United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office has released the second chapter in its anonymization guide for public comment.

Here are some key points:

  • An effective anonymization process seeks to reduce the likelihood of someone being identified or identifiable to a sufficiently remote level. This level depends on a number of factors specific to the context.

In most of the world, anonymous data are not considered personal data — the information can be shared and sold without violating privacy laws. Market researchers are willing to pay brokers for a huge array of data, from dating preferences to political leanings, household purchases to streaming favorites.

But this anonymous information may not be

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

“Whenever we make a call, go to work, search the web, pay with our credit card, we generate data. While de-identification might have worked in the past, it doesn’t really scale to the type of large-scale datasets being collected today.”

It turns out that ” four random points (i.e. time and location where a person