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[liberationtech] Opinion on a paper?
Nick M. Daly
nick.m.daly at gmail.com
Sun Sep 9 20:14:34 PDT 2012
"Paul Bernal (LAW)" writes:
> I've just come across this paper: "The 'Re-Identification' of Governor
> William Weld's Medical Information: A Critical Re-Examination of
> Health Data Identification Risks and Privacy Protections, Then and
> It can be downloaded here:
It's weird. While reading this thread, I could've sworn that the author
completely missed Paul Ohm's amazing "Broken Promises of Privacy" ,
but flipping (very quickly) through the paper, he refers to it, while
seeming to have completely missed the point (or maybe I'm just a
fanboy?). The thing is that each piece of data can (probabilistically)
lead you to the next, much as a detective follows clues in a murder
mystery. In the case of a specific target, the job gets easier as more
data are acquired (as others have mentioned, perfect deanonymization
isn't usually necessary). See the EFF's Panopticlick  for an idea of
I won't address more generalized population de-anonymization because I
don't understand the problem/numbers as well.
If you haven't read Paul Ohm's paper yet, you should. It's long, but
that's mostly because it's incredibly well explained.
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