Article 29 WP Opinion on anonymization (Opinion 05/2140, 10 April 2014) – (from Executive Summary): In this Opinion, the WP analyses the effectiveness and limits of existing anonymisation techniques against the EU legal background of data protection and provides recommendations to handle these techniques by taking account of the residual risk of identification inherent in each of them. The WP acknowledges the potential value of anonymisation in particular as a strategy to reap the benefits of ‘open data’ for individuals and society at large whilst mitigating the risks for the individuals concerned. However, case studies and research publications have shown how difficult it is to create a truly anonymous dataset whilst retaining as much of the underlying information as required for the task. In the light of Directive 95/46/EC and other relevant EU legal instruments, anonymisation results from processing personal data in order to irreversibly prevent identification. In doing so, several elements should be taken into account by data controllers, having regard to all the means “likely reasonably” to be used for identification (either by the controller or by any third party). * * *
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