AI Technologies to Defeat Identity Theft Vulnerabilities

Latanya Sweeney

When a large number of citizens are at risk to identity theft, national security and economic prosperity are threatened. This work shows that thousands of Americans are at such risk, and introduces technology, named Identity Angel, to help. Identity Angel’s goal is to crawl through information available on the World Wide Web (Web) and notify people for whom information, freely available on the Web, can be combined sufficiently to impersonate them in financial or credentialing transactions. This is an ambitious goal due to the various types of available information and the many inferences that relate disparate pieces of data. Therefore, the work presented herein focuses specifically on acquiring information sufficient to fraudulently acquire a new credit card using on-line resumes. An imposter needs to learn the {name, Social Security Number, address, date of birth} of a subject. Results show how resumes containing needed information can automatically be found and values harvested, and how many subjects removed such information from the Web once notified


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