Encyclopedia of Cryptography and Security

2011 Edition
| Editors: Henk C. A. van Tilborg, Sushil Jajodia


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5906-5_763

Related Concepts


A quasi-identifier is a set of attributes that, in combination, can be linked with external information to reidentify (or reduce uncertainty about) all or some of the respondents to whom information refers.


Many situations require today the release of the specific data, called microdata, reporting information referred to individuals. While the release of microdata increases the flexibility and availability of information for the users, the anonymity of the entities, called respondents(individuals, organizations, and so on), to whom information refers is put at risk. To protect the anonymity, data holders often remove or encrypt explicit identifiers such as names, addresses, and phone numbers. Although apparently anonymous, the de-identified data may contain other identifying data, such as race, birth date, sex, and ZIP code, that can be linked to publicly available information to...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (1994) Report on statistical disclosure limitation methodology. Statistical policy working paper 22, Washington, DC, May 1994Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Dalenius T (1986) Finding a needle in a haystack or identifying anonymous census records. J Off Stat 2(3):329–336Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Golle P (2006) Revisiting the uniqueness of simple demographics in the US population. In: Proceedings of the 5th ACM Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (WPES 2006), Alexandria, VA, October 2006Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Tecnologie dell’Informazione (DTI)Università degli Studi di MilanoCrema (CR)Italy
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Tecnologie dell’Informazione (DTI)Università degli Studi di MilanoCrema (CR)Italy