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Definition: data sanitization

(1) Deleting data permanently. Data sanitization removes all traces of the data on a storage device. See secure delete.

(2) Making data less sensitive for testing purposes. Real company data can be sanitized in many ways: by blanking out parts of a field, by inserting X's in all but the last four digits of credit card numbers, by replacing real names with random names and by shuffling data between the columns. For example, the values in a numeric field can be shuffled and still be summed to the same total.