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Old 12-19-2017, 11:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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120 million American households exposed in 'massive' ConsumerView database leak

120 million American households exposed in 'massive' ConsumerView database leak
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Old 12-19-2017, 01:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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ARGH!!!!!

These companies saying no personal information was exposed because no names were in there have no fucking idea what PII (personally identifiable information) is or, more likely, are being deliberately deceptive. Gee, can you guess some of my projects involve things like de-identifying data and how to handle PII?

Say you know from one database that someone is a single mother with 2 kids. From another that the older child has, oh, MS. From a third that they live in Detroit. From a fourth she applied for some program that indicates she is a native american. You can add more databases but you get the idea: while not a single item specifically identifies her the more data you have the more she gets uniquely identified (and also the more information that can be at risk). Which means you have to assume any information in those databases contains PII and treat it as such.

Data deidentification is much more than replacing names and such with random strings. It also means looking at the non-garbled data and working out if it is a risk. For example, is it REALLY important to the study to know she lives in Detroit or would just saying it is a city do? Generally I prefer to err on the side of less information is better when it comes to PII.
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Old 12-19-2017, 10:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Old 12-20-2017, 07:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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what info about myself is online is mostly medical record related with the hospitals, I think everything else is tied to andi or moe's name.
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Old 12-20-2017, 07:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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what info about myself is online is mostly medical record related with the hospitals, I think everything else is tied to andi or moe's name.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that is all the info on you that is out there because you will only be fooling yourself. I found that out the hard way.

And I think you're missing the point about putting bits of information together to find you in real life and cause you financial damage or at an extreme, physical harm. It can happen. It has happened. It will happen again unless something is done. If I'm wrong and you do get that point then my first paragraph is all the more important for you to be aware of.
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Old 12-20-2017, 07:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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do you have a fitbit or similar health tracking device.. then yes.
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Old 12-21-2017, 06:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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what info about myself is online is mostly medical record related with the hospitals, I think everything else is tied to andi or moe's name.
You would be surprised.
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Old 12-25-2017, 07:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You would be surprised.
I went digging, a few things are online. and most of it I told the companies that had it to not publish it.
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I went digging, a few things are online. and most of it I told the companies that had it to not publish it.
Unfortunately trying to be completely offline these days is like trying to plug a leaky dam about the size of a continent. Even if you can you pretty much have to make it a full time job.
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I went digging, a few things are online. and most of it I told the companies that had it to not publish it.
just because you went digging and couldn't find something doesn't mean stuff about you isn't out there.

all sorts of sites track you in "private" ways and connect various bits of information about you - that *you* can't just learn about by googling your name or whatever.

this sort of information is usually privately kept - until leaks happen.

--
a real life example is like. if you use one of those grocery store "discount" cards taht give you deals in the shop - that store is tracking everything you buy and building a profile about you from that. And they are keeping that data on a computer that is likely connected to the internet. If you go to their website you aren't going to be able to find that information about yourself. Nor will google tell you about it or be able to find it.

Unless you live off the grid - which is unlikely since here you are on SLU - there's information about you on a computer that is connected to the internet. you may not be aware of it tho - but just because googling your name or email address doesn't turn up much - that doesn't mean nothing is out there.
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Old 12-25-2017, 10:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Exactly, to use a cliche, it is like an iceberg. What you can see is a tiny fraction of the problem.
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Old 12-26-2017, 07:21 AM   #12 (permalink)
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ARGH!!!!!

are being deliberately deceptive.
It's called "lying". I do it every time someone tries ta poll me in a mall or tries to get information from me online. I make it up as I go along.
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Old 12-26-2017, 08:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickie Swansong View Post
It's called "lying". I do it every time someone tries ta poll me in a mall or tries to get information from me online. I make it up as I go along.
What I meant was people are used to the information that is most at risk are things like names and social security numbers. Even if there is nothing in one database leak that is in that category it might still be information you do not want out there, especially if it can be linked to another database with more information that also had a leak. An individual undisclosed in such a way may you may never know the name of to have damaging information on. Thanks to some high profile leaks though, one of the databases you might link to (the experian leak with their laughable protection) DOES have names and SSNs.
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Old 12-26-2017, 01:05 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It's called "lying". I do it every time someone tries ta poll me in a mall or tries to get information from me online. I make it up as I go along.
And people wonder why I don't put any stock in statistics.

Thank you for speaking up.
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Old 12-26-2017, 02:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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And people wonder why I don't put any stock in statistics.

Thank you for speaking up.
Statistics is the only class in college I ever dropped out of. Partially because it felt like banging numbers together to make conformation bias.

Also because it was the only class that semester that I had any actual homework in and I was taking it electively anyway, so I figured why suffer.
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Old 12-26-2017, 10:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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banging numbers together to make conformation bias.
An apt description in my opinion.
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Old 12-26-2017, 10:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Actually, when people work with stats at a large level they assume there will be some noise. How it is dealt with is a whole series of college courses, but suffice it to say if, oh, you got a million responses to a survey instrument there are VERY low odds all 1 million were the truth. even if it was just an accidentally wrong response or two.
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Old 12-26-2017, 11:08 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Let's not go down the Skewed Results Road, shall we, or we could be here for months.
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Old 12-27-2017, 11:18 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Let's not go down the Skewed Results Road, shall we, or we could be here for months.
I am not talking about skewing the results. I am talking about how you take the raw data from a poll and do anything with it in a way that reflects both the given data and accounts for any noise. This is a constant debate in political polls of course (slant and accuracy are always tossed around) but it also comes in simple things like if you ask someone how many rooms are in their house.
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Old 12-27-2017, 02:01 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Not my fault you didn't get the joke.




ETA: I've seen how skewed results can be even with painstaking care taken to reduce/eliminate "noise". So sorry, not buying into it.

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Old 12-27-2017, 04:08 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I was recently contacted our of the blue by a local law firm putting together a class action agaisnt Equifax. I pointed out that I had checked on Equifax and was considered one of the people "not affected" according to the site. (Not to mention that my credit score can do no one any good whatsoever.) I was told that I might or might not have been affected and the problem is that no one including Equifax knows for sure anymore. I took a number and told them I would think about it. One more big careless snafu from someone like this and I may just sign up on principal.
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