Have your say: ICO consultation on anonymisation

Article dated: 13 July 2012

Public feedback on a new anonymisation code of practice is being requested by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

The code will provide guidance on how information can be successfully anonymised and how to assess the risks of identification.

Anonymisation techniques can convert personal data into a form so that individuals are no longer identifiable. The consultation will be relevant to any organisation that wants to release anonymised data, for example under the government's open data agenda.

The consultation will play an important role in making sure that the new code achieves the right balance between the protection of individuals' privacy and the benefits of making information publicly available.

The public consultation will remain open until 23 August 2012.

A final version of the Anonymisation Code of Practice – incorporating any changes recurring from comments received – is due for publication in September. A summary of the consultation responses will also be published on the ICO website at the same time.

Archive guidance on anonymising data

Anonymising information is just part of a robust research data management plan, now required by many research funders including the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The UK Data Archive provides tried and tested guidance on all aspects of handling, organising, documenting and enhancing research data in order to enable sharing and reuse. See the links below for specific guidance on anonymisation as well as more complete resources for researchers and for those who train in how to look after data.