How to anonymise data?

Data Anonymisation: GDPR and Data Privacy

Data anonymisation stands as a powerful ally in the quest to protect individual privacy while harnessing the potential of data for various purposes. Therefore, GDPR recognizes the value of this technique, providing organisations with a compliant path to responsibly use data. Therefore, by understanding the nuances of data anonymisation, organizations can navigate the intricate landscape of data privacy with confidence, ensuring that data remains a valuable resource without compromising individuals’ fundamental rights to privacy. In this way, GDPR and data anonymisation work hand-in-hand to achieve a harmonious balance in the digital age.

Benefits of Data Anonymisation Under GDPR:

  1. Privacy Protection: By anonymising data, organisations can minimise the risk of data breaches or misuse, as the information is no longer tied to specific individuals.
  2. Compliance Simplification: Moreover, anonymised data falls outside GDPR’s strict regulatory requirements, reducing compliance burdens and potential legal obligations.
  3. Research and Innovation: Data anonymisation allows for the responsible sharing of data for research and innovation purposes, without compromising privacy.


Anonymise or De-identificate the data

An effective technique to safeguard the privacy of your user’s personal data is to anonymise or de-identificate the data. The data is updated with a series of often random characters to render it no longer identifiable and as a result anonymised.
For example user names can be replaced by ‘XXXXX’ and telephone numbers can be updated to keep the area code but with the other digits being replaced with zeroes.

Data Anonymisation – safeguarding the privacy of user’s personal data.

Data anonymisation can be applied at the outset, when storing data, or at any later stage whenever the usage of the data changes (e.g. testing software systems, data analysis & profiling, data sharing etc.) or when the data needs to be removed (e.g. data deletion request, data retention limit exceeded). Removing data from a software system is often non-trivial. This is where anonymising the data by updating it to render it anonymous can be used.


Check our GDPR Knowledge Base covering Data Security.

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