A Watermark is a unique digital pattern created by the Privitar platform that is added into the records of de-identified datasets for traceability reasons. Watermarks are added to the data during the process of deidentification. They are invisibly embedded and distributed throughout the data, and as a result are robust against tampering and operations such as filtering or reorganizing of the data.

In the event of a leak or data breach, Watermarks can be used to identify the data and plug potential security holes faster. The Watermark can also act as a deterrent to anyone handling the data, encouraging them to take the security of the dataset seriously when they know that the data can be traced.

The Privitar platform can be used to insert a Watermark into a dataset and to read back that Watermark to trace the origin of the data, along with other metadata. The metadata is associated with the Protected Data Domain for the release and provides information such as the intended use case for the dataset, the protection applied to the data, and the governance process.

Return to glossary