Exploring reidentification risk: is anonymization a promise we can keep?

Daniel Nunan, Marialaura Di Domenico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The anonymisation of personal data has multiple purposes within research: as a marker of ethical practice, a means of reducing regulation and as a safeguard for protecting respondent privacy. However, the growing capabilities of technology to gather and analyse data have raised concerns over the potential reidentification of anonymised data-sets. This has sparked a wide ranging debate amongst both academic researchers and policy makers as to whether anonymisation can continue to be relied upon. This debate has the potential to create important implications for market research. This paper analyses the key arguments both for and against anonymisation as an effective tool given the changing technological environment. We consider the future position of anonymisation and question whether anonymisation can remain its key role given the potential impact on both respondent trust and the nature of self-regulation within market research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-34
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Market Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


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