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Internet Can Be Treasure Trove for Data Miners

SOCIAL NETWORKING—U.S.

March 17, 2010

Even if you decide not to share your personal information online, your friends and colleagues may be doing it for you, the New York Times reports. While social network users can adopt strict privacy controls, that is often not enough to protect their personal information "in the interconnected world of the Internet," the report states. Researchers like Ralph Gross and Alessandro Acquisti, who will be a featured presenter at the IAPP Global Privacy Summit in April, have shown just how much information can be gathered by "data mining" the Internet. The two Carnegie Mellon researchers were able to accurately predict Social Security numbers for 8.5 percent of those born in the United States between 1989 and 2003. The FTC is exploring these and other online privacy issues at its third and final roundtable today. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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