Whenever our data is ‘anonymized’, it has been manipulated in such a way that it can no longer be linked back to us, right? Wrong. In the digital era, we do not just blend into the crowd, especially when our location data is part of the equation. This is because our mobility habits are unique to us. Our route to the office, from door to door, is different from anyone else’s, and our traces are highly identifiable with only a few location data points.
Technologies like anonymization offer service providers a wealth of ways to protect their users’ privacy while retaining enough data to serve some utility. However, the hallenge is finding that balance. As regulations tighten and people become more privacy-wary following a spate of privacy and data breach scandals, both the private and public sectors must get smarter about how they handle data.