back to article Database anonymity at risk, warns researcher

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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Big Brother

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I assume a copy of this report has been forwarded to the Home Office?

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Dead Vulture

*grone*

the subtitle is physically painful.

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Easy fix

Apply a small amount of random 'jitter' to each field. Overall, the jitter cancel's out, but it wrecks an individual row.

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WTF?

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.

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Anonymous Coward

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.

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@Easy Fix

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 ...

http://www.rustprivacy.org/rustthesql.pdf

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Anonymous Coward

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.

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