Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Individually Identifiable Data

  • Chris CliftonEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_1390


Personal data; Personally identifiable data


Individually Identifiable Data is data that identifies the person that the data is about, or that can be used to identify that individual. This generally refers to data that contains either an identification number, or factors relating to physical, mental, economic, cultural, or social identity that could be used to link the data to an individual. Regulatory requirements for privacy generally apply (only) to individually identifiable data.

Key Points

Individually Identifiable Data is a legal term (e.g., personal data in the EU Privacy Directive [1], or Individually identifiable health information in U.S. Healthcare Laws [2]); in general privacy laws only protect individually identifiable data. Unfortunately, it is not clearly defined in technical terms. Anonymous data is presumably not individually identifiable, but what about k-anonymous data? (Presumably data is individually identifiable if K = 1, but at what level of K...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995. The protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data. Off J Eur Communities. 1995;1(281):31–50.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. Standard for privacy of individually identifiable health information. Technical report. 2003.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer SciencePurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Chris Clifton
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of Computer SciencePurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA