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United States Privacy

Stanford Researchers Spot Medical Conditions, Guns, and More In Phone Metadata 193

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-are-your-data dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Since the NSA's phone metadata program broke last summer, politicians have trivialized the privacy implications. It's 'just metadata,' Dianne Feinstein and others have repeatedly emphasized. That view is no longer tenable: Stanford researchers crowdsourced phone metadata from real users, and easily identified calls to 'Alcoholics Anonymous, gun stores, NARAL Pro-Choice, labor unions, divorce lawyers, sexually transmitted disease clinics, a Canadian import pharmacy, strip clubs, and much more.' Looking at patterns in call metadata, they correctly diagnosed a cardiac condition and outed an assault rifle owner. 'Reasonable minds can disagree about the policy and legal constraints,' the authors conclude. 'The science, however, is clear: phone metadata is highly sensitive.'"
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Stanford Researchers Spot Medical Conditions, Guns, and More In Phone Metadata

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  • Re:Outed? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Euler (31942) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:03AM (#46472333) Journal

    I agree, but I think 'gun nutjob' applies to both ends of the spectrum. A majority of Americans believe in the right to own _some_ guns. I assume you are pointing out the right-end of the spectrum. But among the left end, there is a double-speak that is equally counter-productive. Conservatives are aware of this, but most centrists don't realize it. i.e. News headlines and quotes from the left state things like "Common sense" gun laws. But conversations among liberals or progressives are decidedly 100% anti-gun. "Gather them all up and throw them away" This is part of the reason that seemingly reasonable people dig in their heels on any proposed gun laws.

  • Re:Outed? (Score:2, Informative)

    by ebno-10db (1459097) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:07AM (#46472351)

    Good point. Instead of pussy footing around with this metadata crap, lets just have searches of everyone's homes. Sure most of them can legally own firearms, but who knows who is keeping a ton of C4, liters of weaponized anthrax, or a pair of box cutters in their basement. Search everyone - there is nothing to worry about if you've got nothing to hide.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 13, 2014 @09:17AM (#46472421)

    Actually, it wasn't Roe v. Wade.. it was Griswold v. Connecticut, and had to do with the availability of contraception. Essentially saying that what you do in the privacy of your home is none of the government's business. Importantly, there's no explicit "right to privacy" in the US Constitution, but Griswold laid the foundation for why it follows from many of the other parts.

    Roe did cite Griswold and other cases and essentially held that decisions to have abortions are a *private matter* between woman and doctor

  • by Zak3056 (69287) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @10:26AM (#46473057) Journal

    Importantly, there's no explicit "right to privacy" in the US Constitution

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects" sure sounds a hell of a lot like "privacy" to me. Of course, an "explicit" right to privacy is not required, it's already guaranteed by those pesky 9th and 10th amendments.

Little known fact about Middle Earth: The Hobbits had a very sophisticated computer network! It was a Tolkien Ring...

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