A-Z Popular Blog Security Search »
Information Security
Related Guides

4 Types of Data Anonymization

 , updated on
Data anonymization is the process of removing personally identifiable information from data. It is done in order to release information in such a way that the privacy of individuals is maintained. For example, census data might be released for the purposes of research and public disclosure with all names, postal codes and other identifiable data removed. The following are common types of data anonymization.


Completely removing fields that could be used in any way to identify a person. Considered a strong form of data anonymization.


Redaction includes removal and other techniques such as blacking data out on paper with a marker and making a photocopy of the result.


Encryption can be very strong and difficult to reverse. It does present a few challenges such as the generation of a sufficiently strong decryption key. Data anonymization isn't intended to be reversible so the management of decryption keys is also a concern. Ideally, a strong and fully random key would be generated and then immediately erased from memory when encryption completes.

Data Masking

Data masking is a potentially weak form of data anonymization that may include data scrambling and character replacement. The advantage of data masking is that it maintains the structure of data such that numbers remain numbers and dates remain dates. This allows anonymized data to be used for system testing without triggering application errors.
Overview: Data Anonymization
The process of removing personally identifiable information from data.
Related Concepts

Information Security

This is the complete list of articles we have written about information security.
Audit Trail
Canary Trap
Confidential Information
Critical Infrastructure
Cryptographic Keys
Cryptographic Salt
Cybersecurity Risk
Data Breach
Data Remanence
Data Room
Data Security
Deep Magic
Defense In Depth
Digital Identity
Failure Of Imagination
Incident Response
IoT Security
Key Stretching
Network Security
Operations Security
Overlay Network
Password Entropy
Password Fatigue
Proof Of Work
Secure Code Review
Security As A Service
Security Controls
More ...
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.

Security vs Privacy

The relationship between security and privacy.


An overview of technology hardening.

Deep Magic

An overview of deep magic, a technology term.

Defense In Depth

An overview of defense In depth.

Encryption Examples

A definition of encryption with examples.

Canary Trap

A definition of canary trap with an example.


A definition of honeypot with examples.

Security Through Obscurity

A definition of security through obscurity with an example.


A definition of token with examples.


A definition of backdoor with examples.

Privacy By Design

An overview of privacy by design.

Expectation Of Privacy

The definition of expectation of privacy.

Personally Identifiable Information

An overview of personally identifiable information.

Delete vs Wipe

The difference between deleting data and wiping it.

Data Risks

A definition of data risk with examples.

Personal Information

A definition of personal information with examples.

Data Subject

A definition of data subject with examples.

Machine Readable

The definition of machine readable with examples.


The definition of delete with examples.

Privacy Examples

The definition of privacy with examples.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map