‘Reidentification’ Threatens Everything You Thought You Knew About Online Privacy

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A new privacy term called “reidentification” means that crooks are looking to identify real people from so-called anonymous databases. This in-depth interview on IT news website Smart Planet features Paul Ohm, a former trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. Ohm labels “reidentification” a much greater risk in a connected world. This is due not only to the increase in computer speed, but also “more interestingly and importantly, the amount of outside information we have about people has just exploded—from the Internet, social networking trends… people are volunteering more information about themselves.” In other words, the devil is in the small details you give away over time; even innocent data can be linked together to reveal your identity.

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Elaine Rigoli

Elaine Rigoli is PRIVATE WiFi's manager of digital content strategy.