Karl Bode reports:
As companies expand the amount of data hoovered up via their subscribers, a common refrain to try and ease public worry is that consumers shouldn’t worry because this data is “anonymized.” However, time and time again studies have highlighted how it’s not particularly difficult to tie these data sets to consumer identities — usually with only the use of a few additional contextual clues. It doesn’t really matter whether we’re talking about cellular location data, GPS data, taxi data or NSA metadata, the basic fact is these anonymous data sets aren’t really anonymous.
The latest in a long stream of such studies comes from MIT, where researchers explored (the actual study is paywalled) whether they could glean unique identities from “anonymous” user data using a handful of contextual clues.
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