Saturday, August 07, 2010

de-anonymization

Have you been de-anonymized? You probably have been de-anonymized, a victim of de-anonymization. I too have probably been de-anonymized. No, this has nothing to do with having one's anonymity broken in Alcoholics Anonymous or another 12 Step anonymity program. As reported this past week in The Wall Street Journal, this is about what They know about us. We learn that only 33 "bits" of information are needed to identify someone. stuff like ZIP codes, gender, birthdates, income. The WSJ article tells us how a data-mining company called [x+1] in a fifth of second, one click, tells Capital One a whole bunch of information from your computer so that Capital One offers you a credit card tailored to that data.

So, if [x+1] does this we can only imagine what Blogger, Yahoo, Google, the Department of Homeland Security, Tiffany & Co., ESPN, HSBC, ABC, MSN, Apple, USPS, Facebook, et alia can discern, ascertain, intuit, estimate, suggest, guess, or retain.

Identity theft?

How about the theft of anonymity, the loss of the loss of identity? How about the loss of the illusion of privacy?

Surprised, anyone?

Dear Anyone,

We know who you are.

p.s. "De-anonymization" is one of those nouninization words that tend to annoy me; one of those words carrying a freight-train's worth of syllables, Germanic-like, trudging along and running over a bunch of crisp and simple verbs.

No comments: