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Professional obligations for Oracle data Obfuscation

Burleson Consulting has published data obfuscation guidelines designed to allow Oracle consultants to share their observations without violating client privacy:

The guideline notes the responsibilities of DBA’s to protect clients schemas and data:

Our consulting agreements always require absolute data and configuration confidentiality and the obfuscation of client data must be carefully controlled, especially when you are retained via an NDA or a classified government database. 

We are challenged to provide examples to illustrate real-world observation while thoroughly obfuscate all reports and listings from client sites.

The article notes that careful obfuscation is required to prevent inadvertent disclosure:

The best example is an obfuscated medical database where the identity of an individual can be derived by a low-count scope of a query. A report listing one Eskimo dentist in Miami Florida with HIV is all someone needs to derive the persons name and violate their privacy. . .

In sum, you may still show data from a client site to illustrate a point, but you must take-care to thoroughly scramble the numbers (while retaining the point) and note in your work that the data has been obfuscated.

We are under no obligation whatsoever to provide evidence and test-cases to beginners and it is our readers trust in our judgment and experience that counts.  Resist the temptation to fall-in to the “prove it” trap.


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Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

Verify experience! Anyone considering using the services of an Oracle support expert should independently investigate their credentials and experience, and not rely on advertisements and self-proclaimed expertise. All legitimate Oracle experts publish their Oracle qualifications.

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