Secondary Analysis of Audio Data. Technical Procedures for Virtual Anonymization and Pseudonymization

Henning Pätzold


Qualitative material presented as audio data requires a greater degree of protecting of anonymity than for example textual data. Apart from the verbal content, it carries paraverbal aspects including voice characteristics, thus making it easier to identify the speaker. This complicates secondary analysis or reanalysis conducted by researchers who were not involved in the data collection. Difficulties increase if the chances are high that the researcher and the interviewee come in contact for example through a meeting. This paper describes the technical procedures that are used to modify the sound of the audio source in a way that it reduces the possibility of recognition (i.e. similar to that of a carefully written transcript). A discussion of the technical possibilities of this procedure along with an exploration of the boundaries of anonymization is presented.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0501249


secondary analysis; audio data; verbal data; anonymization; pseudonymization


Copyright (c) 2005 Henning Pätzold

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