March 14, 2014
Phone call metadata does betray sensitive details about your life – study
Identities of cannabis grower, woman seeking an abortion and MS sufferer inferred in study that confirms danger of widespread access to metadata. The Guardian reports.
Warnings that phone call “metadata” can betray detailed information about your life has been confirmed by research at Stanford University. Researchers there successfully identified a cannabis cultivator, multiple sclerosis sufferer and a visitor to an abortion clinic using nothing more than the timing and destination of their phone calls.
Jonathan Mayer and Patrick Mutchler, the researchers behind the finding, used data gleaned from 546 volunteers to assess the extent to which information about who they had called and when revealed personally sensitive information.<&o>
The research aimed to answer questions raised by the NSA wiretapping revelations, where it was revealed that the US intelligence agency collects metadata - but not content - of millions of phone calls on mobile networks.
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