The Loss of Anonymity in the Information Age

April 3rd, 2010

AnonymousEvery so often a business or government entity will attempt to release “anonymized” data only to find that the anonymization process fails miserably (AOL, Netflix). The problem is not so much with the actual data itself, but is in how it can be combined with other data sources to identify specific individuals. A researcher has shown that 87 percent of Americans can be uniquely identified with just their ZIP code, birthdate, and gender.


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