6th October 2022: PostgreSQL 15 RC 2 Released!

PostgreSQL Anonymizer 0.10: An improved engine and a brand new tutorial

Posted on 2022-03-15 by Dalibo
Related Open Source

Paris, France, March 14, 2022

PostgreSQL Anonymizer is an extension that hides or replaces personally identifiable information (PII) or commercially sensitive data from a PostgreSQL database.

The extension supports 3 different anonymization strategies: Dynamic Masking, Static Masking and Anonymous Dumps. It also offers a large choice of Masking Functions such as Substitution, Randomization, Faking, Pseudonymization, Partial Scrambling, Shuffling, Noise Addition and Generalization.

Many improvements and a better dynamic masking engine

This version is a major step toward the upcoming version 1.0 which will be considered as production ready.

The main changes are focused on the pg_dump_anon.sh wrapper which is now faster and more accurate.

The dynamic masking engine has been simplified and improved. The change is not visible for end users but the inner workings are now more robust, in particular the main event trigger that hides the real data to the masked roles.

A brand new tutorial

Anonymization can be a difficult task and sometimes we just don't know where to start ! In addition to the [project documentation], we are now publishing a complete 4-hours workshop with practical examples, a series of exercises and their solutions.

The result is a 50 pages document designed as a kickstarter to help you discover how you can use PostgreSQL Anonymizer to protect the privacy and comply to the GDPR requirements.

The tutorial is available here:

https://dali.bo/howto_anon_handout

How to Install

This extension is officially supported on PostgreSQL 9.6 and further versions.

On Red Hat, CentOS and Rocky Linux systems, you can install it directly from the official PostgreSQL RPM repository:

dnf install postgresql_anonymizer14

Then load the extension with:

ALTER DATABASE foo SET session_preload_libraries = 'anon';

Create the extension inside the database:

CREATE EXTENSION anon CASCADE;

And finally, initialize the extension

SELECT anon.init();

For other systems, check out the install documentation:

https://postgresql-anonymizer.readthedocs.io/en/latest/INSTALL/

Thanks

This release includes code, bugfixes, documentation, code reviews and ideas from Be Hai Tran, Florent Jardin, Yann B., Christophe Courtois, Vito Botta, Cristiano S., Adrien S., Justin Wei (and others we may have missed).

Many thanks to them!

A final special thanks goes to Frédéric Yhuel for his work on the pl/pgsql code and the documentation !

How to contribute

PostgreSQL Anonymizer is part of the Dalibo Labs initiative. It is mainly developed by Damien Clochard.

This is an open project, contributions are welcome. We need your feedback and ideas! Let us know what you think of this tool, how it fits your needs and what features are missing.

If you want to help, you can find a list of Junior Jobs here:

https://gitlab.com/dalibo/postgresql_anonymizer/issues?label_name%5B%5D=Junior+Jobs