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Data anonymisation techniques: the view of the EDPB (Research Colloquium presentation by Efstratios Koulierakis)

5 months ago

Presentation of the Opinion 5/2014 of the working party of Article 29

Efstratios Koulierakis - ESR 15, University of Groningen

The Working Party of Article 29 was the predecessor of the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), which was established after the introduction of the GDPR. The presentation elaborates on the Opinion 5/2014 and it identifies the position of the main EU data protection body, in relation to methods of de-anonymisation.

The opinion can be better understood, if it is divided in 3 parts:

  1. The theoretical part
  2. The technical part
  3. The evaluation of the existing methods of anonymisation

The first part of the opinion 5/2014 adopts a very strict interpretation of what qualifies as ‘anonymous data’: as long as there is a remote risk for the data subjects in a data set to be identified, the data set is a set of personal data. On that theoretical premise, opinion 5/2014 examines methods of anonymisation. It is concluded that even though anonymisation techniques can be implemented as a means of compliance with the GDPR, none of these methods is enough to render the GDPR irrelevant.

The slides of the presentation can be found here.