According to a report by Sky News Arabia, a study shows that privacy measures that hide the identities of smartphone users are no longer relevant to the digital age.
According to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, some identities can be determined from how people communicate with a processor such as WhatsApp.
In a statement to AFP, Yves-Alexandre de Mongui, a researcher at Imperial College London, said: “It’s time to refresh the concept of anonymity. The research team obtained anonymous data from more than 40,000 cell phone users, most of which were collected from messaging applications and other “contact” data.
The team then launched an “attack” on the data, searching for patterns of those interactions and a technique that could be used by malicious actors, and ended up with the team, with limited data only for those who were in direct contact with the target person. To determine the identity of the latter in 15% of cases.
By adding additional contacts with people in direct contact, the group was able to identify 52% of the population.
The study, conducted by researchers from the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Italy, said it provides evidence that many data are “long-term identifiable”.
“These results strongly suggest that current practices (European regulators) may not meet the required anonymous standards,” the authors added, especially with regard to the ability to link data with a user’s identity. De Monkey stressed that the purpose of the study was not to criticize a particular company or legal entity.
He pointed out that the traditional concept of anonymity was “no longer useful”, which does not mean abandoning the nameless. He thought the solution might be to not allow applications to access large amounts of data
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