Managing the risk of re-identification: why is it important?
There has been an explosion in the collection, usage and sharing of personal data. Alongside it, we are witnessing an evolution of regulation on managing personal and personally-identifiable data. In this context, companies and governments that wish to share anonymised data to create products and services need to understand and better manage the risk of anonymised data being used to identify people.
This project explored how to help organisations who want to make (potentially re-identifiable) data more accessible – and to do so in a way that mitigates the risks of re-identification, protects citizens’ privacy, and increases the social and economic value created from that data.
We conducted research and development activities to help organisations reduce the risks of re-identification when sharing or opening data, by providing them with practical tools and accessible knowledge to recognise and mitigate those risks.
Introduction and reference
Anonymisation and open data – an introduction to managing risk of re-identification in open data.
Anonymisation: a literature review – A reference-rich review by Eticas Research, commissioned by the ODI
Anonymisation case studies – A look anonymisation success stories and cautionary tales across health, geospatial and statistics sectors. By Eticas Research.
A code tutorial on synthetic data – a step-by-step tutorial for developers wishing to understand synthetic data, using the example of synthetic A&E (accident and emergency) health data.
Anonymisation: register of actors – a register of universities, public and private organisations working on anonymisation. Collated by Eticas Research, commissioned by the ODI
Anonymisation: A short guide – A short, step-by-step explanation of the technical process of anonymisation, created by Eticas Research, commissioned by the ODI
More on our research
Anonymisation: the data controller’s best friend, or cause for headaches? – a blog post on GDPR, anonymisation and the challenges of trustworthy data
How do organisations perceive the risks of re-identification? – a blog post summarising a number of interviews of data practitioners on personal and open data
ODI Fridays (lunchtime lecture, 5 April 2019): With great personal data comes great anonymity
Background and funding
This work is part of a three-year innovation programme, running to March 2020 with a funding profile of £2m each year from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.
Through our R&D programme, we aim to shape future services and promote productivity and growth with cutting edge expertise.
Browse our reports and blogs from the research, below.