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Researcher: Don't Be Hasty With Data Collection

DATA PROTECTION—U.S.

October 6, 2011

A researcher from the University of New South Wales has published a paper warning businesses and academics on the dangers of big data collection, MIT Technology Review reports. Combining data from different sources can lead to unexpected results for those involved, according to Kate Crawford, as researchers have shown that it is possible to identify data subjects by combining data said to be anonymous. Carnegie Mellon researcher Alessandro Acquisti says, "handing big data sets takes almost impossible care," and Microsoft Research New England recently cancelled a contest for researchers after realizing the extent that data was identifying subjects. Crawford says researchers should "slow down and think about the methods they use," the report states. 
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