Resources and Publications

33 Bits of Nonsense

March 23, 2011
| Blogs & Op-eds

Say something over and over, and it becomes truth, the adage goes. One recently repeated myth is that virtually all information is now personally identifiable information. The latest example was in a recent Politico op-ed by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA). “Online trackers claim the information they collect is anonymous and helps enhance the user’s experience. But that doesn’t tell the whole story. The truth is it only takes 33 ‘bits’ of information to uniquely identify someone,” she wrote. Many other distinguished experts have made the same assertion. But Daniel Castro explains in a blog post that this just isn’t true, and he goes on to make the case again for fact-based debate on this important issue.