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Identity Angel protects the names of the innocent

Dr. Latanya Sweeney has been looking for your Social Security number for years.

That's because she is the director of the Data Privacy Lab at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science. As part of its ongoing research, the lab operates a project (and somewhat of a public service) called "Identity Angel." The program scours the World Wide Web for the four key pieces of information needed to access a individual's personal or financial records: name, Social Security number, address, and date of birth. If all four of these pieces of information are available, a representative from Carnegie Mellon contacts the individual to let her know that she is at high risk for identity theft.

"Deploying these tools combats fraud related to financial and identity crimes that threaten the nation's economic prosperity and security. They demonstrate how AI technologies can improve security while simultaneously enhancing the privacy of citizens," Dr. Sweeney said in a statement.

So far, the results of the study have shown that posted resumes are one of the worst security risks on the Internet, as many people are able to glean information from them without anyone noticing.