(1) In programming, the process of hiding details of an object or function. Information hiding is a powerful programming technique because it reduces complexity. One of the chief mechanisms for hiding information is encapsulation -- combining elements to create a larger entity. The programmer can then focus on the new object without worrying about the hidden details. In a sense, the entire hierarchy of programming languages -- from machine languages to high-level languages -- can be seen as a form of information hiding.
Information hiding is also used to prevent programmers from changing --- intentionally or unintentionally -- parts of a program.