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Anonymous data may still not be anonymous enough

Posted by on Mar 15, 2015 in Blog, Datamining, Emerging Science and Technology, Technology and Privacy | Comments Off on Anonymous data may still not be anonymous enough

AnonymousdataIt’s already happened several times before, yet still another series of incidents has been released in which individuals connected to “anonymous” or “anonymized” data were ultimately identified by researchers .

This time, data scientists analyzed credit card transactions made by 1.1million people in thousands of stores over 90 days. The data set contained fields such as the date of the transaction, amount charged, and the name of the store. Personal details such as names, account numbers, etc. were removed, but the “uniqueness of people’s behavior” still made them identifiable. Just four random pieces of information was enough to re-identify 90% of shoppers in the database and attach them to other identity records. Researchers at MIT Media Lab, authors of the study, concluded that “the old model of anonymity does not seem to be the right model when we are talking about large scale metadata.”

“A data set’s lack of names, home addresses, phone numbers or other obvious identifiers,” they wrote, “does not make it anonymous nor safe to release to the public and to third parties.”

The full study was published in early 2015 in Science.

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Speech intention can be decoded from brainwaves

Posted by on Feb 2, 2012 in Blog, Data Visualization, Emerging Science and Technology, Technology and Privacy | Comments Off on Speech intention can be decoded from brainwaves

UC Berkeley scientists have demonstrated a method to reconstruct words that a person may be thinking, by examining brainwaves using fMRI. The technique reported in PLoS Biology relies on gathering electrical signals directly from patients’ brains, via implanted electrodes. Computer models reconstructed words/sounds from the signal patterns.

Although the possible uses include helping comatose, locked-in patients, or the speech-impaired to communicate, concerns have been raised that the method could be used for interrogation. fMRI has already been used by federal law enforcement agencies to detect signs of deception in detained suspects.

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Physibles and the future of brands

Posted by on Feb 1, 2012 in Blog, Data Visualization, Emerging Science and Technology, Media and Markets | Comments Off on Physibles and the future of brands

Brands have a psychological reality in that they provide differentiation for goods that might otherwise be seen as interchangeable commodities.? I give you vodka, salt, and baking soda, as pertinent examples.

The advent of 3-D printers in recent years, though,? introduces a possibility that branded goods may have less utility in the future.? The Pirate Bay,? already a source of downloadable content of all types (some of it probably of dubious legality) has created a new category of downloadable content containing the code for producing items on 3-D printers.? Once goods become “content” and can be produced by anyone,? what happens to brands? The ability to easily turn digital content into a physical object changes the marketing premise. Nicknamed “physibles”? over at the Pirate Bay,? these digital blueprints lead the way to a nearby future in which “…you will print your spare parts for your vehicles. You will download your sneakers within 20 years.”

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Augmented Reality Glasses

Posted by on Jan 15, 2012 in Blog, Data Visualization, Emerging Science and Technology, Media and Markets | Comments Off on Augmented Reality Glasses

 

 

Daily Mail: “Translucent TV: Lumus’ PD-18-2 is a set of spectacles that can beam high-quality images directly into your eyes but allows the user to see through the images too.”

 

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Embedded Camera-Eye

Posted by on Jul 10, 2011 in Bioreactive Media, Blog, Emerging Science and Technology, Geolocation and Psychogeography | Comments Off on Embedded Camera-Eye

After losing an eye in a car accident, Tanya Vlach is trying to raise money to have a webcam fashioned like an eye installed in the non-functional eye socket. The prosthetic camera-eye is designed to be waterproof, capable of wireless HD video transmission at 720p, and will include zoom and still-capture features, activated by blinking. On Vlach’s wishlist for the eye — expected to cost at least $15,000 to design and embed — is facial recognition, geotagging, and infrared viewing.

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Billboards With Facial Recognition Tech Collect Demographic Data

Posted by on Jul 19, 2010 in Blog, Emerging Science and Technology, Media and Markets, Technology and Privacy | Comments Off on Billboards With Facial Recognition Tech Collect Demographic Data

A group of Japanese train stations are testing a new set of billboards with facial recognition technology. ?The billboards have been compared to the personalized signage in Minority Report.

The stated goal of the project is to collect demographic data on people in the immediate area that are potentially exposed to the billboard’s advertising. ? “The displays are part of a one-year trial being conducted by the Digital Signage Promotion Project, comprising 11 railway companies and their affiliated advertising firms. Their aim is to learn what kinds of people are interested in which ads at what times.”? The technology, by Japanese company NEC, could allow advertisers to develop more accurate campaigns that are personalized and targeted to consumers. There is, of course, the potential for significant invasion of privacy. However, the company claimed that the images collected would be immediately erased and that they would preserve anonymity of passersby.

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