About Us | Contact Us
View Cart

‘Anonymized’ Credit Card Data Isn’t Really Anonymous

By Vigilize | Monday, February 2, 2015 - Leave a Comment

An article review.


Food for your ‘Privacy Policy’ Thoughts


ServIcons_ITAudit_01

A recent article from the Associated Press highlights a study that reviewed ‘anonymized’ credit card data. The MIT researchers were able to identify individuals based on their credit card actions alone.

With over ninety percent accuracy, the researchers were able to identify a person based on four credit card transactions, or only three transactions if the prices were available. The transactional metadata alone was enough of a trail that other time-stamped data could be used to positively identify the owner.

Fun Facts about the MIT study:

  • Included 1.1 million people
  • Three months of data were examined
  • Data was collected from 10,000 shops
  • Conducted in an undisclosed developed country

The article highlights the power of metadata along with the false sense of security that’s often present when ‘anonymized’ data is shared.

At infotex, we update our privacy policy every year. Now even if you aren’t an Audit Client of ours, we suspect that you’re probably doing the same. The question becomes: are we just going through the motions?

This article helps illustrate why we need to slow down and think about the implications of what we’re doing in light of both how the technology has changed and how the technology is used.

You might want to add this as a consideration in your vendor management as well.


Click Here To Read the Full Article


The above is what we call an “Article Review.” It is part of our attempt to help our readers find excellent reading materials to back up important technology risk management concepts. We try not to include articles that are merely news or additional news about mainstream issues. Instead, we try to highlight articles that our “typical clients” should be sure to read, or that are about concepts “outside the mainstream media.” infotex does not intend to endorse views represented by the writers of the articles we review, nor do we try to keep our Clients aware of EVERYTHING. For example, if a particular story concept is being reported upon in many different media sources, infotex usually chooses to ignore the story concept altogether, unless we can find a “unique take” on the story concept.


Original article by Seth Borenstein and Jack Gillum, Associated Press. Published by U.S. News & World Report.


same_strip_012513


Latest News
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office. Interested in one of ours […]
    Over Seven Billion Usernames Have Been Leaked in Breaches Since 2011… An article review. An unfortunate fact of modern life seems to be the inevitable announcement of new data breaches, and if you’ve lost track of how many breaches you’ve had to perform a risk assessment on you’re probably not alone…but just how much personal […]
    Or, the risk of email hypnosis . . . And the other implications of complacency! Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . . Now that the pandemic is coming to an end, most of us are returning to our daily commutes.  Are you finding […]
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office.  
    Machine learning is here to stay, so how do we assess its risk? An article review. When it comes to assessing technology risk, there seems to be as many methods as there are attack vectors… but what happens when an entirely new field opens up?  When it comes to machine learning (ML) there aren’t many […]
    You’ve heard it from every MSSP you’ve met: the definition of a SIEM is in the eye of the beholder. But at infotex, we are not talking about the database – an asset whose definition is continuously evolving. We’re talking about the way three teams collaborate in an overall Technology Risk Monitoring process. And whether […]
    A new study shows organizations are responding to cyber attacks faster than ever, so why is that bad news? An article review. When it comes to cyber attacks, the sooner an organization can begin to respond to an attack the better, so the results of a new study showing a drop in the amount of […]
    …a Crash Course of Security Measures The first article by Sara Fultz, Creative Assistant of infotex! Introduction: As the managing partner of infotex, I am proud to introduce the “debut article” for Sara Fultz.  I told Sara “write an article showing us what you’ve learned that the technical staff will appreciate.” As I read her […]
    infotex Programming Coordinator, Michael Hartke, introduces a high level overview of the upcoming update to the infotex SIEM. Look for more movies in the coming months informing our Clients, and those just now learning about us, about the SIEM and its features and functions.
    Another awareness poster for YOUR customers (and users).  Now that we have our own employees aware, maybe it’s time to start posting content for our customers! Download the large versions here: Awareness Poster (Portrait) Awareness Poster (Landscape)   You are welcome to print out and distribute this around your office.