We Know Who You Are

There really isn’t any hiding on the internets anymore.  There never was any ability to hide, really, but many people tried anyway to hide behind fake names, forged email accounts and IP-spoofing surf sites.  Why would someone try to hard to so fruitlessly hide their identity?  The simple answer is:  They’re up to no good.  The more complex question is:  Why Are You Hiding When We Already Know Who You Are?

It is necessary that people own their words and actions in real life and in a virtual living on the internets.

It is our duty to require the close association and determined tethering of behaviors to actions in every human realm because when we are left to aimlessly wander anonymously, trouble and hatred are bred within us.

Social Networks rightly provide no anonymity even though the despicable among us believe their facelessness is protected even though it is not.

The main cudgel behind finding out who you and what you’re up to are online isn’t wielded by an intimate stranger looking to harm you — who you are is smashed against you by those you believe you should inherently trust:  The operators of your social activity online.

Operators of online social networks are increasingly sharing potentially sensitive information about users and their relationships with advertisers, application developers, and data-mining researchers. Privacy is typically protected by anonymization, i.e., removing names, addresses, etc.

We present a framework for analyzing privacy and anonymity in social networks and develop a new re-identification algorithm targeting anonymized social-network graphs. To demonstrate its effectiveness on real-world networks, we show that a third of the users who can be verified to have accounts on both Twitter, a popular microblogging service, and Flickr, an online photo-sharing site, can be re-identified in the anonymous Twitter graph with only a 12% error rate.

Our de-anonymization algorithm is based purely on the network topology, does not require creation of a large number of dummy “sybil” nodes, is robust to noise and all existing defenses, and works even when the overlap between the target network and the adversary’s auxiliary information is small.

We shouldn’t be surprised our privacy and anonymity on social networks is a purposeful illusion.

Nothing is free and the price we pay for social networking services is the loss of our private being in order to sell advertising and additional services.

Our anonymity dissolves in the chase to capture the almighty advertising dollar.