Data integrity

From Science Europe Data Glossary

Definition: data integrity refers to maintaining and assuring the accuracy and consistency of data over its entire life cycle.
Explanation: data integrity is the opposite of data corruption, which is a form of data loss. The overall intent of any data integrity technique is the same: ensure data is recorded exactly as intended, and upon later retrieval, ensure the data is the same as it was when it was originally recorded. In short, data integrity aims to prevent unintentional changes to information. Data integrity is not to be confused with data security, the discipline of protecting data from unauthorized parties. Any unintended changes to data as the result of a storage, retrieval or processing operation, including malicious intent, unexpected hardware failure, and human error, is failure of data integrity. If the changes are the result of unauthorized access, it may also be a failure of data security.
See also: data authenticity