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Internet Governance Glossary


4.11 De-identification

Process by which a collection of data is stripped of information which would allow the identification of the source of the data.


Common uses of de-identification include human subject research for the sake of privacy for research participants. Common strategies for de-identifying datasets are deleting or masking personal identifiers, such as name and social security number, and suppressing or generalizing quasi-identifiers, such as date of birth and zip code. The reverse process of defeating de-identification to identify individuals is known as “re-identification”.