Researchers spotlight the lie of anonymous data

Researchers from two universities in Europe have published a method they say is able to correctly re-identify 99.98% of individuals in anonymized data sets with just 15 demographic attributes. Their model suggests complex data sets of personal information cannot be protected against re-identification by current methods of “anonymizing” data — such as releasing samples (subsets) of the information. Indeed, the suggestion is that no “anonymized” and released big data set can be considered safe from re-identification — not without strict access controls. “Our results suggest that even heavily sampled anonymized datasets are unlikely to satisfy the modern standards for anonymization set forth by GDPR [Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation] and seriously challenge the technical and legal adequacy of the de-identification …