The world of privacy is a constant battlefield. It’s not a static decision where once you’ve done this one single step, you’re now good until the end of time. Instead, you have to stay abreast of the research, studying the ways that privacy is constantly being diminished so that you can then take the appropriate steps to respond.
Researchers have created an artificial intelligence that can use sets of anonymous data and the trends within that data to correctly pick out a targeted individual more than 50% of the time. (Admittedly, this took place in early 2022, but it’s something few know about.)
Specifically, they’ve done this with phone numbers.
After being fed a database of 40,000+ phone numbers as well as some background information on who that number contacted, when this AI system was tasked with picking out an individual from an anonymous dataset, it was able to correctly pick out the target by analyzing all of the numbers that Phone Number C regularly contacted. People are creatures of habit, and because AI is very good for data harvesting purposes, this AI was able to effectively say, “This phone number likes to contact these four phone numbers quite a bit. Based off of the existing data I already have on these four contact phone numbers, the anonymous data point that is contacting these four people is likely John Brown.”
You can be identified by your habits.
Of the research, University of Minnesota computer scientist Jaideep Srivastata said, “It’s no surprise that people tend to remain within established social structures and that these regular interactions form a stable pattern over time.”
I would add that it’s not just your social structures that are habitual. So are your buying patterns, your location patterns, your driving patterns, your entertainment patterns, your exercise patterns, your sleep patterns, and just about everything else.