Your anonymous data is not so anonymous

Your anonymous data is not so anonymous

Summary: "Re-identification" -- that is, identifying the real person behind what is assumed to be "anonymous" data -- is a growing problem. SmartPlanet reports on the threat.

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TOPICS: Browser, Security
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We cover all the latest privacy news here on ZDNet -- especially on the Zero Day and Government blogs -- but often that coverage is dedicated to identity theft and the risk that using unsecured systems poses.

But the folks at our sister site SmartPlanet say "re-identification" -- that is, identifying the real person behind what is assumed to be "anonymous" data -- is a growing problem.

Speaking with Paul Ohm, a former trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, reporter Melanie Kaplan bridges the gap between theory and actual threat.

It turns out that in the age of social media networks and sharing, it's easier than ever. Simply: deleting data does not protect the rest.

"Even computer scientists who know a lot about data are not aware of how easy reidentification has become," Ohm says.

Privacy: reidentification a growing risk [SmartPlanet]

Topics: Browser, Security

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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11 comments
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  • Identity could become a bigger consideration...

    I think the re identification is an immediate issue, identifying authentic user - data. But I think it leads us on to a wider issue with our identity & the rise of the social web. I posted an article on this recently...
    http://socialmediatoday.com/nick-bennett/281607/rise-social-web-gives-us-view-future
    @...
    • RE: Your anonymous data is not so anonymous

      @@NickoBennett

      It turns out that in the age of social media networks and sharing, it???s easier than <strong><a href="http://learnviolinonlinehq.com/">learn violin online</a></strong> ever. Simply: deleting data does not protect the rest.

      ???Even computer scientists <strong><a href="http://glaucomaeyedrops.com/">glaucoma eyes drops</a></strong> who know a lot about data are not aware of how easy reidentification has become,??? Ohm says.

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      At least not to me.
      obitwo
      • RE: Your anonymous data is not so anonymous

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    • RE: Your anonymous data is not so anonymous

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      Amygosp
      • RE: Your anonymous data is not so anonymous

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  • RE: Your anonymous data is not so anonymous

    wisdom is not even caring about the friggin "source".
    But this kind of wisdom only comes with age.
    70 is when it STARTS.
    SO try hard to enjoy the earlier part of your life.
    AND please dont be a pest to others thinking you know what the hell you are trying to talk or write about.
    arthurprit
    • RE: Your anonymous data is not so anonymous

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    Use Breadcrumbs Bogus Identity
    Privacy man
    • RE: Your anonymous data is not so anonymous

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  • RE: Your anonymous data is not so anonymous

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