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Researchers Connect 91% of Numbers With Names In Metadata Probe 84

Posted by samzenpus
from the looking-at-the-list dept.
Trailrunner7 writes "One of the key tenets of the argument that the National Security Agency and some lawmakers have constructed to justify the agency's collection of phone metadata is that the information it's collecting, such as phone numbers and length of call, can't be tied to the callers' names. However, some quick investigation by some researchers at Stanford University who have been collecting information voluntarily from Android users found that they could correlate numbers to names with very little effort. The Stanford researchers recently started a program called Metaphone that gathers data from volunteers with Android phones. They collect data such as recent phone calls and text messages and social network information. The goal of the project, which is the work of the Stanford Security Lab, is to draw some lines connecting metadata and surveillance. As part of the project, the researchers decided to select a random set of 5,000 numbers from their data and see whether they could connect any of them to subscriber names using just freely available Web tools. The result: They found names for 27 percent of the numbers using just Google, Yelp, Facebook and Google Places. Using some other online tools, they connected 91 of 100 numbers with names."
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Researchers Connect 91% of Numbers With Names In Metadata Probe

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  • Re:Wha'? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by s.petry (762400) on Monday December 23, 2013 @05:21PM (#45769845)
    Then you have not listened to much of the debate. Clapper and others in offices have stated that metadata is completely anonymous and therefor not a risk. They have also said what you note. This is a campaign of denial and deceit trying to cover all possible ground. Additionally, TV media has been pretty silent on the issues so they are trying to keep things quiet and away from the masses.

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.