Utility-Preserving Anonymization in a Real-World Scenario: Evidence from the German Chronic Kidney Disease (GCKD) Study

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2023 May 18:302:28-32. doi: 10.3233/SHTI230058.


Data sharing provides benefits in terms of transparency and innovation. Privacy concerns in this context can be addressed by anonymization techniques. In our study, we evaluated anonymization approaches which transform structured data in a real-world scenario of a chronic kidney disease cohort study and checked for replicability of research results via 95% CI overlap in two differently anonymized datasets with different protection degrees. Calculated 95% CI overlapped in both applied anonymization approaches and visual comparison presented similar results. Thus, in our use case scenario, research results were not relevantly impacted by anonymization, which adds to the growing evidence of utility-preserving anonymization techniques.

Keywords: anonymization; de-identification; health data sharing; k-anonymity; privacy preserving technique.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Data Anonymization*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Organizations
  • Privacy*