Information is becoming far more valuable as businesses seek to learn more about their customers and those of their competitors, and as advertisers seek to gain a competitive advantage by finding new and innovative ways to use information to target advertisements that are most relevant to their consumers.
Information is also increasingly being sought for secondary uses that are seen to be in the public interest. For example, the health sector is seeking to use information to support evidence-based decision-making, to improve the quality of care provided, and to identify and achieve cost efficiencies.
However, if organizations do not strongly protect the privacy of individuals in the information being sought out, there may be far-reaching implications for both the individuals and the organizations involved. For example, when individuals lose trust and confidence in the ability of an organization to protect their privacy, the reputation of that organization may be irreparably damaged in the process.
One of the most effective ways to protect the privacy of individuals is through strong de-identification. Despite suggestions to the contrary, de-identification, using proper de-identification techniques and re-identification risk management procedures, remains one of the strongest and most important tools in protecting privacy.