Privatization (also spelled privatisation) can mean different things including moving something from the public sector into the private sector. It is also sometimes used as a synonym for deregulation when a heavily regulated private company or industry becomes less regulated. Government functions and services may also be privatized; in this case, private entities are tasked with the implementation of government programs or performance of government services that had previously been the purview of state-run agencies. Some examples include revenue collection, law enforcement, and prison management.
The Economist magazine introduced the term "privatization" (alternatively "privatisation" or "reprivatization" after the German Reprivatisierung) during the 1930s when it covered Nazi Germany's economic policy.
It is not clear if the magazine coincidentally invented the word in English or if the term is a loanword from the same expression in German, where it has been in use since the 19th century.