Study shows metadata provides more sensitive information than thought

Study shows metadata provides more sensitive information than thought
By now, most of you know that the information supposedly scooped up by the NSA from cellphone users consists of metadata. Early reports made this information sound non-threatening to all but the most paranoid. Even the president noted that the NSA was not seeing content from your phone. While that might be correct, there is plenty of information that can be used by the NSA to put together a profile that can lead to your identification. 

A study out of Stanford conducted by Jonathan Mayer and Patrick Mutchler called upon 546 volunteers to reveal just what information can be discovered from the metadata collected from your handset. Using an app created by Stanford called MetaPhone, the study shows that the metadata collected by the NSA is much more probing than the public believes it to be and can lead to inferences about medical conditions, firearm ownership and more. By using the information to infer what a person's medical condition is, the NSA can figure out which medications you use and could even take a guess about which Doctors you are seeing. Knowing whether or not someone owns a firearm could hep the agency conclude whether a particular person is a Republican or Democrat.

Judge Richard Leon, back in December, ruled in Federal Court that the NSA's actions were unconstitutional. He added that the "metadata from each person’s phone 'reflects a wealth of detail about her familial, political, professional, religious, and sexual associations.’" In other words, in the right hands, metadata can paint an extremely accurate picture of you.



source: WebPolicy, MetaPhone via Gizmodo

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9 Comments

1. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I'm so tired of the NSA...

2. Insignificant

Posts: 192; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

If only they got tired of us and just let us be...

3. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Right! Why waste government money and funding on useless agencies? What should happen is spending more money for cures for diseases or something that impacts lives for the better.

4. Insignificant

Posts: 192; Member since: Sep 22, 2012

Sorry bro, spending trillions killing millions of innocents, funding weapons programmes, surveillance programmes etc (designed to keep you in power when you'll die one day anyway - "the only land yours is your grave" {Islamic proverb}) is way, way higher on the agenda list than saving the starving, oppressed etc (which could be sorted in a week if any western country tried).

8. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Apparently.

6. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Eisenhower warned about the military-industrial complex. NSA is a manifestation of the complex at its most developed. Got to feed Skynet. Feeding Skynet doesn't leave much else for other 'non-essential' items (things like cures for diseases or something that impacts lives for the better). Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

9. GTX_Ti unregistered

That's why america sucks.

5. goojman

Posts: 56; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

The NSA could suck my ballz!!

7. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

In Ukraine, the government used data from cell towers to find out who was protesting and texted them to let them know that it knew who they were. Does anyone really believe that the American government wouldn't stoop so low? If it can happen in the Black Sea, it can happen anywhere from sea to shining sea too.

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