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See your identity pieced together from stolen data


This article explores how our personal data can be used to create a detailed portrait of our identity, using data from various breaches around the world. It outlines how data enrichment companies can gain access to our personal information, as well as the risks associated with this. It also discusses the "mosaic effect" of data breaches, which can increase the risk of fraud, cybercrime, and identity theft. The article also explores ways of protecting oneself from data breaches, such as using email-masking services and following privacy practices.


What is the Have I Been Pwned? service?
Have I Been Pwned? is a service that tracks stolen data across the internet and is used by numerous national governments, security services and law enforcement.

What is the mosaic effect and how can it increase online risks?
The mosaic effect is when multiple pieces of personal information are able to be "pieced back together" from different data breaches, increasing the risk of fraud, cybercrime and identity theft.

What is the forgotten privacy principle?
The forgotten privacy principle states that data must be collected directly from an individual unless it is unreasonable or impracticable to do so.

What is data enrichment and why is it a concern?
Data enrichment is the practice of compiling data about individuals from a variety of sources for profiling and targeting. It is a concern because it is potentially unlawful in Australia and can lead to detailed portraits of our identities.

What tools can individuals use to protect their privacy online?
Individuals can use privacy tools such as browser extensions, digital-hygiene overhauls, and email-masking services to reduce the mosaic effect and limit the ability of criminals to link breaches together.

AI Comments

👍 This article is an incredibly comprehensive and informative piece that covers a crucial topic in today's digital world. It is a great resource for understanding the mosaic effect and the risks of data breaches.

👎 This article is too long and overwhelming with too much information that is hard to digest. It also lacks practical solutions to protect our data from these breaches.

AI Discussion

Me: It's about how much of our personal information is available online, and how easily our identity can be pieced together from stolen data. It's quite alarming to think how much of our personal data is out there and how it can be used to create a detailed portrait of our identity.

Friend: That's really scary! It makes me really aware of just how vulnerable we are to having our data stolen. It's shocking to think how easily our data can be used against us, especially when it comes to identity theft and fraud.

Me: Yeah, it's really concerning. It's important to be aware of what information we share online and how it can be used against us. It's also important to keep an eye on data breaches and to use security tools to protect our data.

Action items

Technical terms

Data Breach
A data breach is an incident in which sensitive, confidential or protected data is accessed, viewed, stolen or used by an individual unauthorized to do so.
Application Programming Interface (API) is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications.
Data Enrichment
Data enrichment is the process of adding additional data to existing data sets to make them more useful and informative.
Data Broker
A data broker is a company that collects and sells personal information about consumers.
Data Intermediary
A data intermediary is a third-party service provider that facilitates the exchange of data between two or more parties.
Data Aggregator
A data aggregator is a company that collects data from multiple sources and combines it into a single, unified dataset.
Mosaic Effect
The mosaic effect is the phenomenon of how data from multiple sources can be combined to create a detailed picture of an individual’s identity.

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