De-Identification Solutions


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De-identification refers to processes that disassociate personally identifiable information (PII) within protected health information (PHI) repositories and other "data at risk."

PHI de-identification is a specific requirement in the healthcare industry. De-identification is also part of safe-harbor practices in medical research (where patient identities are removed from study models) and many other industries where PII is stored in databases and files.

For example, the most recent Security Rule in HIPAA regulations (45 CFR Parts 160 and 164) spell out the compliance requirements for those entities managing PHI. HIPAA rules apply to 18 specific identifiers:

Phone #
Fax #
Email Address
Social Security #
Medical Record #
Health Insurance Beneficiary #
Account #
Certificate #
Vehicle ID #
Device ID #
Personal URL
IP Address
Biometric ID
Facial Image
Other Unique ID Code

IRI FieldShield data masking software finds and classifies, and then de-identifies, anonymizes, and otherwise protects PII, PAN, PHI, etc. across multiple data sources


HIPAA compliance requires either:


Manipulating, masking, or removing these identifiers so that it is difficult or impossible to restore the original data. Any remaining data cannot be linked to an individual.



Stripping the identifiers, and providing expert verification that the statistical risk of re-identification is low.

IRI provides several ways to anonymize and de-identify data through both irreversible and reversible data masking or obfuscation techniques, including the above and encryption. See this page on HIPAA encryption.

Use IRI FieldShield in the IRI Data Protector suite or IRI Voracity platform to protect data in files and databases at risk (or IRI CellShield EE for PHI in Excel), and to comply with HIPAA and other data privacy regulations. Use IRI Chakra Max as a more powerful and affordable database firewall (DAM/DCAP) solution for PHI in multiple databases. Use IRI RowGen to synthesize compliant, realistic, and referentially correct test data for files and databases.

Learn more about HIPAA and IRI encryption methods:

Click on the tabs above or expand the solution links on the left to explore these data masking methods. Visit the FieldShield product page for more information, or a free trial of the software in its Eclipse GUI, the IRI Workbench.

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