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[liberationtech] Why Metadata Matters

Katitza Rodriguez katitza at eff.org
Thu Jun 6 12:09:17 PDT 2013


Even the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression made clear why 
metadata matters in his latest report.

Here is my take on his report.
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/06/internet-and-surveillance-UN-makes-the-connection

The report is cited in the article
http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session23/A.HRC.23.40_EN.pdf

On 6/6/13 1:44 PM, Griffin Boyce wrote:
>    I see a lot of people wondering why metadata matters.  "But they
> don't know *what* you're doing there!"  So I'll give a short example
> to illustrate how metadata can be used to not only determine who
> someone is talking to, but also to invade their privacy and uncover
> the most intimate details of their life.
>
>    Jane is at 16th & L Street for an hour.
>    Carla is at 16th & L Street for four hours. She's had a short visit
> previously.
>    James is at 16th & L Street for twenty minutes. He comes back at the
> same time every week.
>    Kris is at 16th & L Street for ten hours.
>    Rick is at 16th & L Street for eight hours every night.
>    Samantha has been there for three days and four hours.
>
> 16th & L Street is the address of a Planned Parenthood in Washington, DC.
>
>    Jane is having a physical.
>    Carla is having an abortion.
>    James receives his medication there. By visit time, location, and
> frequency, he is likely a trans guy. If his appointments were every
> two weeks, the metadata would indicate that James is a trans woman.
>    Kris is protesting there.
>    Rick works in an office in the same building.
>    Samantha dropped her phone in the Farragut West Metro Station and
> has been looking for it ever since.
>
> And that's just location data. If one calls a physician every day,
> perhaps they have a major medical problem. If a crime happens on the
> other side of town, and you suddenly start calling attorneys... did
> you do it?  There are numerous explanations for either of those
> scenarios, but this kind of metadata in isolation can be used to tell
> almost any story you want.
>
> Stay safe out there.
>
> best,
> Griffin Boyce
>


-- 
Katitza Rodriguez
International Rights Director
Electronic Frontier Foundation
katitza at eff.org
katitza at datos-personales.org (personal email)

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