Publishing data, re-using and sharing data between researchers or different organizations increases the need to consider anonymity and privacy issues. Legal rules or ethical codes on anonymity and privacy must be considered. Rules and guidelines may be imposed on the research from the government, a funding agency, the research context (research council or university) or be derived from pledges made to research subjects.
In economic, financial or business statistics individual results may be suppressed by the data collecting organization to avoid that business intelligence of individual companies are inadvertently revealed. Database owners will determine in advance how large the minimum number of cases in a category should be (=k) to publish or suppress results (k-anonymity), providing access only to aggregated results.
Data anonymization techniques include:
Not only should data conform to rules of conduct and be designed to respect the privacy of research subjects, but also the devices on which we work with the data should be safe from unauthorized access. Access to network and WiFi connections, when in use, should be included in safety protocols.