Remember 10 years ago, when Netflix had a competition for anyone and everyone to use tons of its user data to come up with an algorithm to better predict viewer preferences? In releasing the data, Netflix said it had scrubbed it of PII, and it was therefore anonymous. But Arvind Narayanan, then a Ph.D student at The University of Texas, and a colleague discovered that the reportedly anonymized data could in fact be de-anonymized, and pretty easily, too. The findings thwarted Netflix's plans for a second, similar contest. In this episode of The Privacy Advisor Podcast, Narayanan discusses life as a researcher at Princeton, including his most recent work on online tracking, which found many sites weren't even aware of third-party tracking occurring on their pages, and that "adult sites" are among the most privacy protective.
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