The terms of anonymity: An interview with Marit Hansen, German data protection expert

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


As data gathering technologies are permeating various corners of our lives, a number of stakeholders are attempting to map, track, analyse and define what is happening to our identity, our privacy, or our ways of being social. As notions like privacy, anonymity, data, unlinkability, or pseudonymity are being defined, many of these definitions, while sounding almost the same, shift meaning from discipline to discipline, from context to context, and from one political agenda to the other. In this interview with Marit Hansen, one of the most influential activists for data protection regulation in Germany, and the head of the Independent Centre for Data Protection (ULD) and the Data Protection Commissioner of Schleswig-Holstein, Hansen highlights the way in which her computer science discipline defines its terms and working categories, in a rapidly changing landscape of data gathering technologies. The interview draws heavily from her (co-authored with Andreas Pfitzmann) seminal paper in the computer science field around privacy, anonymity and ‘identity management,’ titled ‘A terminology for talking about privacy by data minimization: Anonymity, unlinkability, undetectability, unobservability, pseudonymity, and identity management’.
ZeitschriftEphemera: Theory & Politics in Organization
Seiten (von - bis)421-430
Anzahl der Seiten10
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 2017