Data anonymization is a data protection process focused on privacy protection. The role of data anonymization is to encrypt or remove personally identifiable information from data sets. In this manner, people from whom the data was collection remain remain anonymous.

Data anonymization is often used in the medical field, as well as in data-sensitive statistics analysis. If you need to render the data you’re working on anonymous, you can use one of the tools listed below.

What are the best free data anonymization tools?

1

ARX Data Anonymization Tool

ARX is an open source software for anonymizing sensitive personal data. The tool transforms datasets into syntactic privacy models that mitigate attacks leading to privacy breaches.

ARX removes direct identifiers such as names from datasets and adds further constraints on indirect identifiers, such as email addresses or phone numbers. The tools also provides built-in data import facilities for relational databases (MS SQL, DB2, SQLite, MySQL), MS Excel and CSV files.

You can download ARX Data Anonymization for free from the tool’s official website.

2

Anonymizer

Data can also come in the form of images. If you need a tool to blur images, we recommand Anonymizer. The software detects faces, car number plates and other image information in various scales and orientations and applies blurring filters to make the information unreadable.

The Anonymizer SDK is a standalone C/C++ library for Windows and Linux. You can use it to anonymize street-view photos, webcam photos, or any other photos for which privacy is a major concern.

You can download Anonymizer from Eyedea and try it out for free.

3

NLM-Scrubber

NLM-Scrubber is a new, free clinical text de-identification tool. The software is currently in its initial beta stage, but you can already try it out if you’re curious.

The good news is that its developers will release a non-beta version of the tool. NLM-Scrubber is to be mainly used for de-identifying medical documents.

Here’s how to run NLM-Scrubber:

  1. Download NLM-Scrubber
  2. Create a configuration file using a text editor
  3. Open a command-line interface > change the current directory to where you downloaded or moved NLM-Scrubber
  4. Use the following command to run NLM-Scrubber: scrubber.exe.

For more information about NLM-Scrubber, go to the tool’s official website.

4

Imperva Camouflage Data Marking Software

 Data Masking Software

Imperva Camouflage’s data making tool removes the sensitive data hindering test, outsourcing, and analytics. The tool de-identifies sensitive data, and retains the realism and functionality of the original data set.

The data categories this tools can work with include names, addresses, credit cards, SSN/SIN, phone, and more.

For more information about this tool, check out the video below:

You can also try out this data masking tool for free or ask Imperva Camouflage for a quote by visiting the company’s official website.

We’ll end our list here. As you can see, the tools mentioned in this article can be used for the same purpose in various fields. They help you to de-identify sensitive data, whether it’s coded in images or letters.

Have you used other data anonymization software that we didn’t mention in this article?

If so, tell us more about your experience in the comment section below.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2017 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.