Encyclopedia of Database Systems

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


  • Simone Fischer-HübnerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_80600


Namelessness; Nonidentifiability


The term anonymity originates from the Greek word “anonymia,” which means “without a name.”

In the context of computing, anonymity has been defined in [2] as follows: “Anonymity of a subject means that the subject is not identifiable within a set of subjects, the anonymity set.” The anonymity set is the set of all possible subjects, e.g., the set of all possible senders of a message or the set of all possible recipients of a message (dependent on the knowledge of an attacker). Sender anonymity means that a message cannot be linked to the sender, while receiver anonymityimplies that a certain message cannot be linked to the receiver of that message. Relationship anonymity of a sender and recipient means that even though a sender and a recipient can be identified as participating in some communication, they cannot be identified as communicating with each other, i.e., sender and recipient are unlinkable. The definition above...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Common Criteria Project, common criteria for information technology security evaluation, part 2: security functional requirements, Jan 2010, ISO/IEC 15408-1:2009. www.commoncriteriaportal.org.
  2. 2.
    Pfitzmann A. Hansen M. A terminology for talking about privacy by data minimization: anonymity, unlinkability, unobservability, pseudonymity, and identity management version 0.34. http://dud.inf.tu-dresden.de/Anon_Terminology.shtml. 10 Aug 2010.
  3. 3.
    Sweeney L. k-anonymity: a model for protecting privacy. Int J Uncertain Fuzziness Knowl-Based Syst. 2002;10(5):557–70.MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Karlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden

Section editors and affiliations

  • Elena Ferrari
    • 1
  1. 1.DiSTAUniv. of InsubriaVareseItaly