Wow! This is a different kind of data breach.
In October last year, Netflix released over 100 million movie ratings made by 500,000 subscribers to their online DVD rental service. The company then offered a prize of $1million to anyone who could better the company’s system of DVD recommendation by 10 per cent or more.
Of course, Netflix assured everybody that the data had been anonymized by removing any personal details.
That turns out to have been a tad optimistic. Arvind Narayanan and Vitaly Shmatikov at the the University of Texas at Austin have just de-anonymized it.
They go on to explain how they did it.
As one of the comments highlights the part they gloss over is that they can only find out who you are if you had an account on Netflix and IMDB.