Re: Deidentification (ISSUE-188)

On Jul 23, 2014, at 3:01 PM, David Singer <> wrote:

> On Jul 23, 2014, at 11:49 , Roy T. Fielding <> wrote:
>> On Jul 23, 2014, at 10:22 AM, David Singer wrote:
>>> I understand your hesitation and share some of it.  However, I feel that
>>> * de-identification has been defeated often enough that we cannot be sure people will always succeed
>>> * a user who is harmed should be able to work out who has responsibility: someone who defied a restriction on the data, or someone who made it available without that restriction.
>>> There are, alas, enough people out there who would try to engineer a situation in which it appears no-one is responsible ("we did our best to make it de-id’d”, “no-one said we couldn’t try to re-id”) that I think we need to close that chink somehow, formally.
>> The right way to do that is with an accurate definition and a separate
>> formal requirement on any party (or third party).   Mixing the two results
>> in an incorrect definition due to the false negatives.
> I think I am fine with that;  where we talk of de-identifying the data, we say that the party doing so commits to taking responsibility, or passing on the responsibility, that it is not re-identified.

So David, are you OK with Roy’s definition:

 A data set is considered de-identified when there exists a reasonable
 level of justified confidence that none of the data within it can be
 linked to a particular user, user agent, or device.

Do either of you want to suggest language for the spec to bind parties to
not try to reidentify?

Received on Friday, 25 July 2014 20:25:24 UTC