In 2020, the use of data anonymization techniques has been one of the concerns of entrepreneurs from all segments.
These techniques are relevant because this year the LGPD, General Data Protection Law, comes into force in Brazil, which provides for the treatment given to the personal information of customers.
However, there are still many questions on the subject. For example, what changes you supposed to make in your company to ensure compliance with the Law?
Will the implementation of the LGPD have any impact on marketing strategies? Read the next topics to learn all about the concept of data anonymization.
What is data anonymization?
We could say that data anonymization is a process that makes it impossible to associate personal information with its holders. It is also called data masking or data sanitization.
In other words, information that has been changed or removed from the databases of a company or organization to guarantee the privacy of its customers. It is called data anonymization.
Information such as last names, addresses, telephone numbers, personal document numbers, age, among others, are the focus of anonymization. The purpose is not to allow the person to be identified.
Anonymized data, then, becomes the opposite of what we know as “personal data”: if personal data was meant to be associated with its unique owner, the anonymized data cannot be associated with any specific person.
As information security is an issue that is gaining more and more importance, it is clear that the use of data anonymization becomes an urgent demand when thinking about the elaboration of marketing strategies for digital businesses.
Besides complying with the law, it is important that you are familiar with this concept to avoid exposing your customer's data and keep their security and trust.
And what is pseudo anonymization?
Pseudo-anonymization consists of making data liable to be associated with its holder only when supplementary information is used, which must be kept separate.
the pseudo-anonymized data cannot be associated with its owner by itself, but if you have access to additional information, this association difficulty can be reversed.
The use of this resource occurs in specific cases, according to the business segment and the context.
The Brazilian General Data Protection Law (Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados Pessoais or LGPD) is a new law that was passed by the National Congress of Brazil on August 14, 2018 and comes into effect on August 15, 2020.
The LGPD creates a legal framework for the use of personal data of individuals in Brazil, regardless of where the data processor is located. It is closely modelled after the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and like GDPR, the LGPD has far reaching consequences for data processing activities in and outside of Brazil.
In Article 3 of the LGPD, it outlines that it applies to:
Data processing within the territory of Brazil
Data processing of individuals who are within the territory of Brazil, regardless of where in the world the data processor is located
Data processing of data collected in Brazil
This means that it is not just Brazilian citizens whose personal information is protected, but any individual whose data has been collected or processed while inside Brazil.
Organization to document the processing of personal data from initial collection to termination, provide a description of what is collected, the purpose of collection and processing, retention time and who the data is shared with.
There will be a higher standard of protection of personal data, especially in digital media, mainly as a result of the penalties provided for in case of non-compliance with the rules.
It has an impact on marketing strategies
With the application of the LGPD, there will be restrictions on unbridled data collection, as companies will only be able to collect data that are relevant in their immediate interaction with their customers.
This way, the habit of collecting all possible data without even knowing how it will be used in the future needs to be revised.
However, marketers do not have to freak out. Still there will be data to be used, at least, in smaller groups.
It means that the potential for achieving positive results in working with data will be much greater, since data selection will already be thought through with smarter strategies.
How MSPs can help
MSPs (Managed Service Providers) are Information Technology companies that provide resource management services, generally to customers who do not have an IT infrastructure.
MSPs can help companies to be more careful with their management systems, especially those dealing with the storage and handling of customer information.
In this context, they are specialize in measures to be taken to comply with the Law and use this skill as a competitive advantage.
MSPs can offer a service focused, for example, on protecting or retrieving information, all based on what the new Law dictates.
The entrepreneur can ensure that data will not be lost or leaked, avoiding possible fines, which can be very expensive, by simply using their services.
See below some of the most used techniques for data anonymization:
Encryption: sensitive customer data is exchanged for encrypted data. Because doing so, the information remains confidential and cannot be associated with its owners, not even by the information technology team;
Generalization: also called recoding, makes data less precise or more generic, such as changing people's ages by age group or addresses by region;
Disturbance: this is a modification or masking of information. The real data is exchanged for others, using, for example, rounding, adding noise and randomization algorithms RDP (Random Data Perturbation).
Suppression: In this case, an entire section of data is removed from an already anonymized database. This is considered the strongest technique because there is no way to reverse it. It is used when it is not possible to anonymize the data properly with another technique.
I hope it is clear now that the anonymization of data is a demand that has been growing in Brazil, because of LGPD.
Changes will be visible, especially in online environments, which will also lead to changes for companies in the Information Technology area.
It is up to good professionals to use the LGPD in their favor, offering differential services to optimize compliance with standards. Entrepreneurs need to keep their attention on information security.
By the way, if your company does not yet have an information security policy, it is good to provide it as soon as possible. To help you, we suggest reading the article “How to create an information security policy today”. Check it out, and enjoy your reading!