Technical Comments

Response to Comment on “Unique in the shopping mall: On the reidentifiability of credit card metadata”

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Science  18 Mar 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6279, pp. 1274
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf1578

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Sánchez et al.’s textbook k-anonymization example does not prove, or even suggest, that location and other big-data data sets can be anonymized and of general use. The synthetic data set that they “successfully anonymize” bears no resemblance to modern high-dimensional data sets on which their methods fail. Moving forward, deidentification should not be considered a useful basis for policy.

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