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UK: ICO launches consultation on second chapter of its draft anonymisation, pseudonymisation, and PET guidance

The Information Commissioner's Office ('ICO') launched, on 8 October 2021, a consultation on the second chapter of its draft guidance on anonymisation, pseudonymisation, and privacy enhancing technologies ('PET'), entitled 'How do we ensure anonymisation is effective?.' In particular, the draft chapter, which follows the publication of the first chapter on 28 May 2021, outlines the objective of the anonymisation process and explains the concept of identifiability and its key indicators including singling out, linkability, and inferences. Furthermore, the draft chapter highlights that, whilst the data protection law includes a simple binary outcome for identifiability – either meeting the definition or not, in practice, the actual identifiability of individuals can be context-specific. Moreover, the draft chapter explains, among other things, that organisations should consider the following regarding the assessment of the identifiability risk:

  • whether there is additional information that may enable identification;
  • whether there are techniques that enable identification from the information in question; and
  • the extent to which the additional information or techniques are reasonably likely to be accessible to (and used by) a particular person to identify individuals the original information relates to.

You can read the updated press release here and the draft second chapter here.