Unique in the shopping mall: On the reidentifiability of credit card metadata


credit-card-users

From the abstract of

Unique in the shopping mall: On the reidentifiability of credit card metadata

Large-scale data sets of human behavior have the potential to fundamentally transform the way we fight diseases, design cities, or perform research. Metadata, however, contain sensitive information. Understanding the privacy of these data sets is key to their broad use and, ultimately, their impact. We study 3 months of credit card records for 1.1 million people and show that four spatiotemporal points are enough to uniquely reidentify 90% of individuals. We show that knowing the price of a transaction increases the risk of reidentification by 22%, on average. Finally, we show that even data sets that provide coarse information at any or all of the dimensions provide little anonymity and that women are more reidentifiable than men in credit card metadata.

I heard the NPR segment on this — and they made it sound so much more ominous and worrisome than does the abstract, which shows, by the nature of the data itself, how structured and specific it is.  Not saying this isn’t dismaying – but as a would-be data science type, I can think of so many more interesting datasets to struggle with in which anonymized data would be useful, and presumably less easily reverse-engineered.

Salesforce Spring’15 Webinar


Really regret that I missed it; the recording is not yet published (which, is not unreasonable).

They did publish the slide show, and I’m excited by what’s on some slides such as:

  • Slide 9 (Customer Service Reps can have api access to two social accounts)
  • Slides 12, 13, 14 on visual process builder
  • Slide 33 (VisualForce Mapping)

Definitely a webinar worth watching once the recording is posted, for presentations without the voice-over are a pale imitation.

spring 15 small image

 

Nvidia’s most ambitious chip yet will be very hard for the Apple A9 to match


ah… CES pre-fun handicapping….. seasonal like the holidays are seasonal

BGR

Nvidia has released a bunch of very impressive mobile processors in recent years but the company seems to have saved its most ambitious processor for CES 2015.

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Has Apple’s software quality taken ‘a nosedive’ lately?


#UhOh

BGR

Instapaper creator Marco Arment is certainly one of the most read and widely influential Mac and iOS developers around. And when he says that there’s something seriously wrong with the way things have been going with Apple’s software lately, many people will take note.

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