You can be targeted and identified through ‘bulk meta data’, reveals MIT study
By Lexi Morgan
(INTELLIHUB) — In today’s world it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day bustle and convenience of modern-day technologies.
However, have you ever stopped to think that every time you make a purchase with plastic you are leaving a trail for someone to follow?
Whether it’s Big Brother, the CIA, police, or a hacker group, your transactions are like a virtual electronic DNA fingerprint of sorts.
Anonymized credit card data – only locations and times of purchases made – are enough to identify a person, a new MIT study shows. Shopping habits are so unique, that knowledge of only four transactions help tell who the buyer is.
Three months of credit card transactions carried out by 1.1 million people in 10,000 shops in one country were studied by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology team, which made the results public in a January 30 issue of Science journal.
The name of the country is not specified, it’s only designated as an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) country. The source of the data is only mentioned as a “major bank.”
The scientists dealt with anonymized data, which did not contain neither names nor account numbers. Only metadata was left available – the time and place of a purchase.
Perhaps its better to switch to using all cash.
However, using cash to purchase daily items such as a cup of coffee has been deemed a ‘potential terrorist activity’ by the FBI as Ethan A. Huff reported in a previous article:
Purchasing a cup of coffee using cash instead of a credit or debit card, using Google Maps to view photos of sporting event stadiums and large cities, and installing software to protect your internet privacy on your mobile phone — these and many other mundane activities are now considered to be potential terrorist activities by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). And the agency is now distributing a new series of flyers as part of its new “Communities Against Terrorism” (CAT) program that urges shop owners and others to report such “suspicious” activity to authorities.
“The Communities Against Terrorism program is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance through the SLATT Program to provide law enforcement agencies with a tool to engage members of the local community in the fight against terrorism,” writes SLATT.org, the program of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance that is promoting the program, on its website. “To assist law enforcement in the outreach effort, templates of flyers containing potential indicators have been created for distribution to specific industries” (https://www.slatt.org/CAT).
So what does this leave us with?
Perhaps we should start our own currency, putting the central banks out of business or even go back to the barter system.
About the Author:
Lexi Morgan is a journalist and activist by heart, always striving to promote thought-provoking issues not commonly known or covered most. Lexi is an anti-New World Order, anti-corruption activist, but also enjoys the finer things in life including racing cars, riding motocross, and skydiving. Lexi is an exclusive weapon of Intellihub.