The process in which personal data is altered in such a way that it no longer can be related back to a given individual through an irreversible process. Among many techniques, there are three primary ways that data is anonymized:
– Suppression is the most basic version of anonymization and it simply removes some identifying values from data to reduce its identifiability.
– Generalization (cohort) takes specific identifying values and makes them broader, such as changing a specific age (18) to an age range (18-24).
– Noise addition (salting) takes identifying values from a given data set and switches them with identifying values from another individual in that data set.