In other columns, I’ve had quite a bit to say about the questionable security of social networking sites—especially where insurance and financial services entities are concerned. A recent visit to the Electronic Frontier Foundation Web site, however, has significantly upped the ante in the game of privacy. 

An article there by Peter Eckersley lays out just how easy it is to use a few pieces of information to deduce who you are—and chances are someone trying to do that has a nefarious purpose in mind. According to Eckersley, “If all I know about a person is their ZIP code, I don't know who they are. If all I know is their date of birth, I don't know who they are. If all I know is their gender, I don't know who they are. But it turns out that if I know these three things about a person, I could probably deduce their identity!”

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