[Air-L] Anonymizing Twitter handles

José María Mateos chema at rinzewind.org
Fri Apr 14 05:00:50 PDT 2017

On Fri, Apr 14, 2017 at 12:07:19PM +0100, Bernhard Rieder wrote:
>I you hash the userhandle, e.g. with SHA-1 or similar (which is even 
>possible in Excel with a small formula), there is no need to keep a 
>correspondence file, because hashing a string will always yield the 
>same hash - while making reversal virtually impossible (i.e. you cannot 
>get the handle from the hash).

If you do this, please add a "salt" string that only you know to the 
Twitter handle. If you only do SHA1, while it is not possible to perform 
the inverse operation, the correspondence between the hashed string and 
the original handle can be guessed by brute-forcing the conversion of a 
list of handles. But I you convert the string "twitter_handle_1" + 
"mysalt" = "twitter_handle_1mysalt", that cannot be done (unless you 
also publish the "salt").



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