People might be more identifiable than previously thought from supposedly anonymised information contained in large databases, according to a technology law expert. New research recommends that privacy practices and even privacy laws need to change. Increasing amounts of personal information are collected by organisations and …
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I assume a copy of this report has been forwarded to the Home Office?
the subtitle is physically painful.
Apply a small amount of random 'jitter' to each field. Overall, the jitter cancel's out, but it wrecks an individual row.
We should trust people?
"So my solution is that we shift our trust from the technology to the people"
"The people" are the cause of most of the privacy/data breaches. The technology just assists in making the breach easier.
Re: Easy fix @ Tom Chiverton 1
Read the paper ... such things are considered. Fixes are not easy.
Anyway, this work is old news. Some random Reg-commentard already brought this to our attention .. though I forget which article it was attached to.
Random jitter is good. Jesus Loves You, Sir TBL and Google, not so much.
Re-Identification is so "easy" because DBA's delete when they should be redacting and then the researcher goes back and fills column holes (with a simple inner join) that were not there to begin with.
NULL is not Zero, (at best it's NaN) and a good DBA knows this. Of course if you were raised on spreadsheets and HTML tables this is hard to fathom.
This is how it should work ...
DOB: Reduce it to month and year.
Sex: Yes please. (sniggers) Keep it, 50% of the planet share this characteristic with you and the information is probably quite important to the people using it.
Zip code: Reduce it to state or county.