American researchers say they were shocked by how much information they were able to unearth about people by simply looking at the phone numbers they called.
The Stanford University study encouraged volunteers to install a tracking application called MetaPhone onto their phones.
Researchers collected information for several months, and say they were able to predict people’s medical conditions, hobbies and relationships by only looking at the metadata.
Graduate student Jonathan Mayer, who led the study, says the results show a significant amount of personal information can be discovered through metadata.
“One of the things which is most concerning about the privacy properties we’ve uncovered is how easy it is to make inferences about the metadata on a large scale,” he said.
“We had a participant who… had calls with a lumber yard and a locksmith and a hydroponics dealer and a bong shop.
“[You] don’t need a PHD in computer science to have some sense of what could be going on there.”
Mr Mayer says his team’s original hypothesis was that with only a few months of collection data and only a handful of users, the metadata would not be very revealing.
But he says he was surprised.
“For some individuals, the fact that they have a particular medical condition is quite private, for others are the fact that they own a gun is quite private,” he said.
“For others, their religious beliefs are quite private. And yet we were able to find many of these sorts of traits using just telephone metadata.”
MetaPhone study gathered same data as NSA
MetaPhone has been described as a slimmed-down version of the United States National Security Agency (NSA), because it has been collecting the same type of data which is collected by intelligence organisations.
Last year, documents from former NSA-contractor Edward Snowden showed Australia’s intelligence organisations had offered to provide raw metadata to overseas allies.
But often in the electronic surveillance debate, a distinction is made between what you say versus the metadata.
“The material that I understand was referred to in the Guardian story related to essentially the billing data, now that has been available – but there is a big difference between billing data and the actual content of calls,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott said in December, when asked about the Snowden leaks.
The Latest on: Metadata mining
via Google News
The Latest on: Metadata mining
- Exploring COVID-19 Research Publicationson March 20, 2020 at 7:47 pm
As is true of most text mining efforts, generating summary statistics ... The specific file we will be using is called “all_sources_metadata_2020–03–13.csv”. We can see that this is ...
- Samourai Wallet Review 2020on March 20, 2020 at 5:00 pm
When transacting your Bitcoin, Samourai uses a new address every time in order to protect your metadata and prevent ... This small fee is in addition to the mining fee, which the user can customize.
- AI Called on to Mine Massive Coronavirus Dataset, CORD-19on March 18, 2020 at 3:57 pm
CORD-19 represents “the most extensive machine-readable Coronavirus literature collection available for data and text mining to date, with over 29,000 articles, more than 13,000 of which have full ...
- Professor Hamish Cunninghamon March 18, 2020 at 1:18 pm
Prof. Hamish Cunningham is head of the 15 strong GATE team researching language analysis infrastructure, text mining and textual big data processing. He has published some 150 peer-reviewed articles, ...
- Magnetic and superconducting phase diagrams and transition temperatures predicted using text mining and machine learningon March 13, 2020 at 3:28 am
Predicting the properties of materials prior to their synthesis is of great importance in materials science. Magnetic and superconducting materials exhibit a number of unique properties that make them ...
- An open data infrastructure for the study of anthropogenic hazards linked to georesource exploitationon March 11, 2020 at 3:08 am
Mining, water-reservoir impoundment, underground gas storage, geothermal energy exploitation and hydrocarbon extraction have the potential to cause rock deformation and earthquakes, which may be ...
- 5 Low Cost Ways To Approach Amazon Keyword Researchon March 5, 2020 at 9:37 am
To tap into this behavioral difference of Amazon searchers, consider mining metadata of keywords for the products that you compete against. This is especially important for products that are ...
- A wary eye on metadata watcherson March 4, 2020 at 5:08 am
This could include metadata about our phone calls — numbers, start and end location of calls for both parties, identity of the mobile base station and call duration — but not the conversation.
- Blockstack anchors to Bitcoin network with new mining algorithmon February 27, 2020 at 10:51 am
All data of a Stacks transaction is encoded within the metadata of a Bitcoin transaction. Mining mechanisms used by these algorithms are divided into proof-of-work (nodes dedicate computational ...
- Nwosu: Digitalisation Will Enhance Transformationon February 26, 2020 at 6:21 pm
This solution manages records electronically by automatically capturing document metadata, identifying records, categorising document, facilitating the retrieval of such document, and creating ...
via Bing News