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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Centre for Law, Internet and Culture (iCLIC)

Sharing and Opening Anonymised Data Event

15 July 2016
The Open Data Institute, 3rd Floor, Clifton Street, London, EC2A 4JE

For more information regarding this event, please email .

Event details

Open data has been an important aspect of government policy since 2009 as a means of generating economic and social value, and of holding government to account. However, much of the demand for data is for personal data (i.e. data from which the data subject is identifiable). Yet the sharing of personal data has strong privacy and data protection implications.

The most obvious solution to the problem of leveraging the value of personal data is to transform the personal data to be shared into anonymous data. The Data Protection Directive as well as the most recent version of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) seem to adopt a restrictive definition of anonymous data (anonymous in such a way that the data subject is no longer identifiable.)

Yet, much recent research has shown that, if anonymised data retains utility, then it is usually possible to reidentify people in the dataset using auxiliary data from other sources.

The issue is further complicated by the Directive combining this binary characterisation of anonymisation with the language of reasonableness (taking account of the means likely reasonably to be used to identify someone), and still further by the GDPR introducing the category of pseudonymous data to be distinguished from the category of anonymous data.

To explore these issues in the context of open data, we are holding two workshops.

This is the second of the two workshops which will build on the outputs of the first workshop.

The two workshops will be connected in theme, and the second will build on the outputs of the first. However, it is not necessary to attend both.

Numbers are strictly limited. To express an interest, please email and by 1 March 2016.

These workshops are funded by the Web Science Institute's Research Collaboration Stimulus Fund, which is allocated to the University of Southampton from the Higher Education Innovation Fund (HIEF).

Speaker information

Woodrow Hartzog,Cumberland School of Law, Samford University,Associate Professor

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