Pseudo anonymous information for accurate identification of a person

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In today's world, where almost every person uses the Internet daily, leaving behind a digital footprint, it is difficult to go unnoticed and not lose privacy. Numerous companies involved in the processing and systematization of personal confidential data have learned how to easily circumvent laws protecting the personal information of Internet users.

To exchange databases, you just need to hide the surname and username, after which all personal data turns into anonymous information and does not fall under the protection of confidential data. Thus, anonymized data can be transferred between medical institutions, insurance companies, telecom operators, retail chains and other information owners.

Meanwhile, according to experts, such anonymous data can uniquely identify a person with an accuracy of 99.8%. Consequently, a violation of secrecy of privacy and confidentiality of personal information is quite legitimate.

Scientists from Imperial College London conducted testing and proved that sufficiently accurate identification requires only three parameters: zip code, date of birth and gender. However, having gained access to 15 parameters characterizing an allegedly anonymous user, you can uniquely identify a specific person.

The most famous fact of transferring personal data to commercial organizations was the scandal of Facebook and the analytical company Cambridge Analytica. Access to databases can also be obtained by registering fake marketing companies and sending requests to database owners.

Imperial College researchers suggest users check their profile calculation system. After answering just a few questions, citizens of the United States and Great Britain will be able to see how easy deanonymization is in the modern information space.

Source: nature