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How Carnegie Melon Researchers Predict Social Security & Sexual Orientation with a Facebook Profile

by Michael David Pagan

Internet privacy is no new topic, but we find it fascinating how little we actually know about internet security.  Many of our clients come to us asking how we can help them secure their systems, and that’s why we are talking about this interesting bit of predictive research.

In a 2010 study led by Carter Jernigan and Behram Mistree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jernigan, and Mistree discovered that they could identify someones sexual orientation by an accuracy of 78{c0dc0a79de721c8172b7d66bf8bd2587cbbeff410bbe59362bb4c87155c6b35b} just by data mining Facebook profiles on the internet (Lohr, 2010.)

We can even take it a step further, and predict someones social security number according to a recent paper released by Carnegie Melon University.   Alessandro Acquisti mined data from the Web to successfully predict Social Security numbers with peoples online identities.  In this study by Carnegie Melon the researchers could “accurately predict the full, nine-digit Social Security numbers for 8.5 percent of the people born in the United States between 1989 and 2003 — nearly five million individuals.” (Lohr, 2010)

This type of information is alarming and there has been little accomplished by the US government to protect people from this type of data mining.

As more business grows online, and people become increasingly more comfortable on the internet, it’s important to take the measures to secure your systems.


Original Article: http://wearecocoa.com/blog/facebook-predict-sexual-orientation/