Stripping PII

You know that stripping PII (personal identifying information) from data collected on us for statistical or other reasons is not as clear cut as we may have been led to believe. Removing PII should theoretically provide no link to our identity. It is however safe to say that for the aggregate of this stripped data the same cannot be said. The link although may not be direct is nonetheless a link of sorts, in the form of a ‘dormant identity linkage’. There has been an interesting study done at Carnegie Mellon University (Uniqueness of Simple Demographics in the U.S. Population) that those of you interested in this subject matter maybe be interested to read.


Yes Herman is the new member of our household. He is not home yet as I have been in NYC the last week working on an assignment. Herman is an iRobot. The first time I heard about Herman was from a friend in Geneva that had an iRobot to cut his grass a few years ago. Then as I was flying over to NYC last Sunday I read one of those funny brochures, you know with all these strange stuff that Americans buy. Do you know you can even buy stairs for aging dogs? It’s so cool, and then I saw Herman. That night in my hotel, I dreamed of Herman (yes he was called Herman in my dream) and he was in my kitchen, cleaning.

Hence I told my work colleagues who set about finding Herman during my stay here in NYC! I want to thank Tari and Jack for helping me to find him. Now is to see that he gets home safely, break the news to my husband that we have a robot in the family now, and make sure Herman feels at home on arrival LOL 🙂