Pseudonymization or anonymization of the data

Protecting personal information is not easy. Thanks to current technology, highly sensitive information of the people concerned can be found out quickly. Therefore, thoughts and the implementation of anonymization or pseudonymization are worthwhile. Both options make it more difficult to draw conclusions about specific individuals. But which variant is better?

Pseudonymization advantages and disadvantages

Since pseudonymization replaces the employee's name with an identification feature, it is difficult for outsiders to establish the identity. The possibilities for research are now limited, but not impossible. However, by assigning data or characteristics that can be traced back to the person, it will eventually be possible to establish identity. In a company, conclusions can be quickly gathered through data. For example, optical characteristics (height, hair color, stature) or previous histories (events, illnesses, known criminal offenses) quickly provide information about the person in question.

Anonymization advantages and disadvantages

If data is anonymized, it is not possible to draw any conclusions about the person concerned in retrospect. In surveys or elections, for example, it is possible to express an opinion without being identified.

Another example is the provision of templates that an employee has created. By omitting the name or other assignment options, no one can trace who created the document and who did not.

Tip: Everyone should decide for themselves which data should be pseudonymized or anonymized. One should weigh well which circumstances need which data and where the effort is worthwhile.

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