Browse Definitions:
Definition

de-anonymization (deanonymization)

De-anonymization is a data mining strategy in which anonymous data is cross-referenced with other data sources to re-identify the anonymous data source. 

Any information that distinguishes one data source from another can be used for de-anonymization. Although the concept of de-anonymization goes back several decades, the term made headlines in 2006 when Arvind Narayanan and Vitaly Shmatikov entered a contest hosted by Netflix, a popular movie-rental service. Narayanan and Shmatikov applied their de-anonymization methodology to a data set that contained the anonymous movie ratings of 500,000 members and were able to successfully identify Netflix data for a number of specific members. According to Narayanan and Shmatik, de-anonymization requires data that is abundant, granular and fairly stable across time and context.

As the United States government and other nations move forward with open government initiatives, more data is becoming publicly available over the Internet. Much of this data has been scrubbed to create what the government calls “limited data sets.”  Personally identifiable information (PII) such as names, addresses and social security numbers are removed from limited data sets or obfuscated through a data anonymization process so that the specific source of the data remains anonymous. This assurance of anonymity protects the source's privacy and allows the government to legally share limited data sets with third parties without requiring written permission. Such data has proved to be very valuable for researchers, particularly in health care. Privacy advocates, however, are concerned that even though the data has been scrubbed, so much of it is available that a specific individual’s identity could be re-discovered.

See also: association rules, business intelligence, opinion mining, OLAP, fuzzy logic

 

This was last updated in May 2015

Continue Reading About de-anonymization (deanonymization)

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board)

    The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) is a Congressionally-established nonprofit that assesses audits of public ...

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

SearchSecurity

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of identifying applications that have been deemed safe for execution and restricting all...

  • security

    Security, in information technology (IT), is the defense of digital information and IT assets against internal and external, ...

  • insider threat

    An insider threat is a malicious hacker (also called a cracker or a black hat) who is an employee or officer of a business, ...

SearchHealthIT

  • Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare)

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is legislation passed in 2010 that changed how uninsured Americans enroll in and receive healthcare...

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule

    The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, establishes ...

  • HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA)

    Under the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, a HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA) is a ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

  • fault-tolerant

    Systems with integrated fault tolerance are designed to withstand multiple hardware failures to ensure continuous availability.

SearchStorage

  • data deduplication

    Deduplication retains one unique data instance to reduce storage and bandwidth consumed by remote backups, replication and ...

  • byte

    In most computer systems, a byte is a unit of data that is eight binary digits long. Bytes are often used to represent a ...

  • Secure Digital card (SD card)

    SD cards use flash memory to provide nonvolatile storage. They are more rugged than traditional storage media and are used in ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • flash file system

    Flash file systems are designed specifically for memory devices. A well-designed flash device and flash file system ensure ...

  • IOPS (input/output operations per second)

    IOPS measures the maximum number of reads and writes to non-contiguous storage. It is not an actual benchmark since vendor ...

  • eMMC (embedded MultiMediaCard)

    An embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) is a small storage device made up of NAND flash memory and a simple storage controller.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close