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Information Technology and Innovation Foundation and the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario, Canada, Big Data and Innovation, Setting The Record Straight: De-identification Does Work (June 16, 2014) (full-text).
This paper examines a select group of articles that are often referenced in support of the idea that de-identified data sets are at risk of re-identifying individuals through linkages with other available data. It examines the ways in which the academic research referenced has been misconstrued and finds that the primary reason for the popularity of these misconceptions is not factual inaccuracies or errors within the literature but rather a tendency on the part of commentators to overstate or exaggerate the risk of re-identification. Although the research does raise important issues concerning the use of proper de-identification techniques, it does not suggest that de-identification should be abandoned.