Anonymous Shpanonymous: Not Your Grandmother’s De-Identification Standards

Wednesday, May 04 | 11:45AM–12:30PM ET | Harborside Ballroom A, 4th Floor
Session Type: Breakout Session
Delivery Format: Presentation/Panel Session

If the difference between “de-identification,” “pseudonymization,” “anonymization,” “aggregation,” and other disclosure limitation methods is confusing for you, you’re not alone! There is a lot of confusion in higher ed related to disclosure limitation methods. De-identification is a statistically rigorous process, unique to each situation, and “de-identified” datasets do not remain statically so. In this session, we’ll discuss what each of these terms means, how they are (or aren’t!) defined by law, and why our old disclosure limitation methods might not be appropriate for today’s data-driven world. We will chat about challenges for various academic disciplines, strategies campuses have employed to provide clarity, and whether anonymization is truly possible. This session is especially useful for researchers, data custodians, research IT professionals, privacy professionals, IRB members, and those involved in their university’s open scholarship/research initiatives.


  • Pegah Parsi

    Chief Privacy Officer, University of California San Diego
  • Scott Seaborn

    Privacy Officer, University of California, Berkeley

Resources & Downloads

  • Anonymous Shpanonymous

    Updated on 4/29/2022