Quote of the day—Lisa Vaas

We would be remiss were we to not point out what has been demonstrated time and time again: that Big Data can be dissected, compared and contrasted to look for patterns from which to draw inferences about individuals. In other words, it’s not hard to re-identify people from anonymized records, be they records pertaining to location tracking, faceprints or, one imagines, anuses.

Lisa Vaas
April 8, 2020
As if the world couldn’t get any weirder, this AI toilet scans your anus to identify you
[It’s a lot like most encryption*. Data is only “anonymized” in the minds of those doing the anonymizing. The right people, with a big enough dataset, and enough CPU cycles can deanonymize/decrypt it.

So, other than the obvious embarrassment of having pictures of your anus being featured in the next big data security breach, what is the worst way this technology be abused?

It turns out that just like fingerprints and irises you can be uniquely identified by your anus. If all toilets were equipped with cameras and the data obtained by a totalitarian government it would becoming far more difficult to keep your location private. It would violate my Jews in the Attic Test.—Joe]

* There are exceptions. One-time-pads come to mind.


5 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Lisa Vaas

  1. As if we didn’t already know, surely even having the very thought of surreptitiously scanning your bung hole reveals how utterly amoral and perverse these people are.

  2. Talk about a crappy deal. But sheds some light to the saying. If you run into an asshole in the morning. Your having a bad day. If you run into assholes all day? Your the asshole!

  3. One time pad is in fact the only unconditionally secure encryption system. (Quantum communication is a secure communication channel, but it doesn’t offer “data at rest” encryption.)
    The discussion about recovering information from “anonymized” data reminds me of the old communications intelligence technique called “traffic analysis”. If you’re dealing with traffic encrypted by a cipher you can’t break, you can nevertheless extract information from the flow patterns and how they change over time. For example, in a military setting, a sudden increase in traffic from HQ to the forward bases suggests an imminent attack. When intelligence people speak of “chatter” detected before a terrorist attack, they are talking about traffic analysis.

    • Joe discussed this a few years ago. Even without knowing the details of the conversation, if you know who the person called, it often isn’t hard to determine what (generally speaking) was discussed.

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