How three small credit card transactions could reveal your identity

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by ronjor, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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  2. driekus

    driekus Registered Member

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    This one has helped me put some thoughts into place. I have been hypothesizing on the possibility of taking anonymous data and converting it to recognizable data.
    Under Canadian health law (to the best of my understanding) healthcare providers can share anonymized data outside the chain of custody. This is most applicable when you have a pharmacy in a supermarket (eg. Walmart, Costco etc). They could share anonymous healthcare data outside of the pharmacy. The question is whether the company could take this data and deanonymize it by connecting to purchases made by credit cards. They would make a killing selling this data to drug companies.

    Very similar principle to what the authors propose.
     
  3. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Well hey, it's a good thing that Mirimir doesn't use credit/debit cards ;)

    But then, maybe the same approach works for Bitcoins :eek:
     
  4. driekus

    driekus Registered Member

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    One thing Iam learning quite quickly with data and databases is the best way to combat this is to mess with their data. By mess with I mean provide false names, real name fake address, credit card with pseudonym.
    Really messes with them. :)
     
  5. Carver

    Carver Registered Member

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    I agree, I am finding it is not always necessary to give out your present email address or phone number or cel number. I'll eventually get to the real name fake address part :shifty:
     
  6. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Hint from Mirimir: Practice makes perfect ;)

    Know how to pronounce your fake name. Consistently, with a plausible accent. Practice a signature enough that you can sign quickly and effortlessly. Know your supposed address and number. Most people don't carry cheat sheets ;)

    And don't use fake ID! Except maybe in a club if you're underage ;)
     
  7. driekus

    driekus Registered Member

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    Agreed, although you can usually get away with looking at the address by saying you just moved in. My wife still shrugs at me giving fake names thinking that ill get arrested for giving a corporation a fake name. As long as you are not providing fake details to a police officer or commit fraud you are good. And agreed, fake IDs are not a good idea and not needed.
    If you need a fake ID to go to a club, move to a country where they let you drink at a real age ;)
     
  8. blainefry

    blainefry Registered Member

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  9. driekus

    driekus Registered Member

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  10. deBoetie

    deBoetie Registered Member

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    As you say, bulk healthcare anonymised data has been shown to be very difficult to achieve if you expect good anonymity.

    One of the truly sickening things is that a genuine public good (a population-scale dataset for health research) has been treated as a commercial opportunity and asset.

    In the UK, the government tried to pull a fast one on healthcare data, which would have allowed sharing of this stuff on a commercial basis, and that's (rightly) destroyed the trust of people in giving consent - sickening because it would be a great public good, and lives will be lost as a result.
     
  11. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    Just four credit card clues can identify anyone.

    -- Tom
     
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