Unique in the shopping mall: On the reidentifiability of credit card metadata

@article{Montjoye2015UniqueIT,
  title={Unique in the shopping mall: On the reidentifiability of credit card metadata},
  author={Yves-Alexandre de Montjoye and Laura Radaelli and Vivek Kumar Singh and Alex Pentland},
  journal={Science},
  year={2015},
  volume={347},
  pages={536-539}
}
Large-scale data sets of human behavior have the potential to fundamentally transform the way we fight diseases, design cities, or perform research. Metadata, however, contain sensitive information. Understanding the privacy of these data sets is key to their broad use and, ultimately, their impact. We study 3 months of credit card records for 1.1 million people and show that four spatiotemporal points are enough to uniquely reidentify 90% of individuals. We show that knowing the price of a… CONTINUE READING
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