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Anonymization. The conversion of data from something which is personally identifying and has meaning into another form which can not be reversed or traced back to the original source.

A one-way hash, such as SHA256 or other algorithms, can convert an email address, for example, into data which always produces the same result, but does not reveal the original email address.


SHA256("") => "2533d1b2cab8476f9e0c7226e027a013942c2aa3990443113939a3081ea8e1a6"

The intent of using anonymization is to hide the source data, but make it easy to know if one source data matches another.

Often anonymization will use a private Cryptographic Salt to prevent non-anonymized data from being easily matched to anonymized data.