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Table 1 Aggregated list of potential patient identifiers in datasets

From: Preparing raw clinical data for publication: guidance for journal editors, authors, and peer reviewers

Identifier (information sources) Comments
Direct  
Name [916]  
Initials [14]  
Address, including full or partial postal code [916]  
Telephone or fax numbers or contact information [9, 11, 13, 16]  
Electronic mail addresses [9]  
Unique identifying numbers [916] Generalised HIPPA item 7-10, 18
Vehicle identifiers [9]  
Medical device identifiers [9]  
Web or internet protocol addresses [9]  
Biometric data [9]  
Facial photograph or comparable image [9, 11, 12, 14]  
Audiotapes [12]  
Names of relatives [11]  
Dates related to an individual (including date of birth) [9, 10, 12, 16]  
Indirect--may present a risk if present in combination with others in the list
Place of treatment or health professional responsible for care [11, 16] Could be inferred from investigator affiliations
Sex [10]  
Rare disease or treatment [11]  
Sensitive data, such as illicit drug use or "risky behaviour" [16]  
Place of birth [11, 16]  
Socioeconomic data, such as occupation or place of work, income, or education [10, 11, 13, 16] MRC requirement is for "rare" occupations only
Household and family composition [16]  
Anthropometry measures [16]  
Multiple pregnancies [16]  
Ethnicity [10]  
Small denominators--population size of <100 [15]  
Very small numerators--event counts of <3 [15]  
Year of birth or age (this article) Age is potentially identifying if the recruitment period is short and is fully described
Verbatim responses or transcripts [16]