Patent Issued for Systems and methods for anonymizing transaction information (USPTO 11195242): United Services Automobile Association | #computerhacking | #hacking


2021 DEC 28 (NewsRx) — By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Insurance Daily NewsUnited Services Automobile Association (San Antonio, Texas, United States) has been issued patent number 11195242, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx editors.

The patent’s inventors are Bowen, Angela Dorothea (San Antonio, TX, US), Dowdy, Joshua (Arlington, WA, US), Isaac, Julia Beatrice (Plano, TX, US), Jeong, Jasmine Minjeong (San Antonio, TX, US), Johnson, Nathan Ryan (Celina, TX, US), Kossow, Kevin Anthony (Boerne, TX, US), Tijerina, Oscar Roberto (San Antonio, TX, US), Wiatrek, Nathaniel Brett (San Antonio, TX, US).

This patent was filed on February 26, 2020 and was published online on December 7, 2021.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: “The present disclosure relates generally to anonymizing data that can be transmitted to facilitate various operations. More specifically, the present disclosure relates to providing a limited amount of information to prevent sensitive information from being provided to others.

“Keeping certain types of information confidential helps transactions between parties remain secure from identity theft, hacking opportunities, and the like. For example, when test driving a vehicle, providing a copy of an individual’s car insurance may include information that is unrelated to securing the verification of insurance held by the individual. Instead, information related to the individual’s residential address, which may not be relevant to the ability of the individual to test drive a vehicle, may be listed on the individual’s insurance card and provided to a car dealership. It is now recognized improved systems and methods for anonymizing information provided in certain transactions limits the likelihood of data being compromised.

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“This section is intended to introduce the reader to various aspects of art that may be related to various aspects of the present techniques, which are described and/or claimed below. This discussion is believed to be helpful in providing the reader with background information to facilitate a better understanding of the various aspects of the present disclosure. Accordingly, it should be understood that these statements are to be read in this light, and not as admissions of prior art.”

Supplementing the background information on this patent, NewsRx reporters also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent: “One or more specific embodiments will be described below. In an effort to provide a concise description of these embodiments, not all features of an actual implementation are described in the specification. It should be appreciated that in the development of any such actual implementation, as in any engineering or design project, numerous implementation-specific decisions must be made to achieve the developers’ specific goals, such as compliance with system-related and business-related constraints, which may vary from one implementation to another. Moreover, it should be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time consuming, but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking of design, fabrication, and manufacture for those of ordinary skill having the benefit of this disclosure.

“When introducing elements of various embodiments of the present disclosure, the articles “a,” “an,” and “the” are intended to mean that there are one or more of the elements. The terms “comprising,” “including,” and “having” are intended to be inclusive and mean that there may be additional elements other than the listed elements. Additionally, it should be understood that references to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” of the present disclosure are not intended to be interpreted as excluding the existence of additional embodiments that also incorporate the recited features.

“As organizations work to keep client information, supplier information, employee information, and other personal information confidential, computing systems may be designed to censor or anonymize data provided by the organizations to other organizations or individuals. That is, as security threats related to identity theft, hacking, and the like remain present, the present embodiments disclosed herein may assist organizations and individuals to prevent the distribution of sensitive information when the respective information is not needed for a particular transaction. Additional details with regard to anonymizing information provided in a transaction and the like will be discussed below with reference to FIGS. 1-5.

“By way of introduction, FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a transaction network 10 that includes a transaction information system 12, one or more databases 14, a network 16, a computing device 18, a mobile computing device 20, and the like. Although the transaction information system 12 is illustrated as being coupled to the various components depicted in FIG. 1, it should be noted that the transaction information system 12 may be communicatively coupled to a variety of data sources that may assist the transaction information system 12 in performing the embodiments described herein. The transaction information system 12 may include any suitable computer device, such as a general-purpose personal computer, a laptop computer, a tablet computer, a mobile computer, a smart phone device, a server, a cloud-computing system, and the like that is configured in accordance with present embodiments. Additional details with regard to example components that may be part of the transaction information system 12 is described below with reference to FIG. 2.

“In certain embodiments, the transaction information system 12 may receive requests for data or documents from individuals via the mobile computing device 20, from organizations via the computing device 18, or from any entity via some suitable computing device. The request for data may provide some metadata or indication with regard to a reason or purpose for the request, an identity of the requester, or the like. Based on the received information, the transaction information system 12 may query the databases 14 or other storage component for the requested data. After retrieving the requested data, the transaction information system 12 may analyze the requested data to determine whether any extra or additional information is provided with the requested data that may not be relevant to the purposes of the requester. As such, the transaction information system 12 may censor or anonymize the irrelevant information, such that the transaction information system 12 provides modified data that includes just the relevant information for the requester. In this way, the requester receives the information that he may use to perform his respective task, while the owner of the data minimizes risk of exposing information that may be used in ways that may be undesirable to the owner.”

The claims supplied by the inventors are:

“1. A system, comprising: a first computing device comprising at least one processor configured to: receive a request for identification information associated with a user of the first computing device, wherein the request is received from a second computing device; receive information regarding an entity associated with the second computing device; identify a portion of the identification information based on the entity and a model stored in a storage component, wherein the model comprises an association between the portion of the identification information and the entity, and wherein the model is generated based on the entity requesting the portion of the identification information more than a threshold number of times, and the portion of the identification information excludes an additional portion of the identification information deemed irrelevant to the entity; retrieve data comprising the identification information from the storage component; modify the data to include the portion of the identification information; generate a machine-readable image representative of the portion of the identification information; and send the machine-readable image to the second computing device.

“2. The system of claim 1, wherein the second computing device is configured to retrieve the portion of the identification information from the machine-readable image.

“3. The system of claim 1, wherein the data comprises a document comprising the identification information, and wherein the machine-readable comprises a portion of the document.

“4. The system of claim 3, wherein the at least one processor is configured to modify the data by censoring an additional portion of the identification information.

“5. The system of claim 1, wherein the at least one processor is configured to send an offer for a product or a service to the first computing device based on the information regarding the entity.

“6. The system of claim 1, wherein the second computing device is configured to send an additional request to an additional computing device, wherein the additional request corresponds to authenticating the machine-readable image, and wherein the additional computing device is configured to authenticate the machine-readable image based on a feature embedded in the machine-readable image.

“7. The system of claim 6, wherein the additional computing device is different from the first computing system.

“8. The system of claim 6, wherein the at least one processor is configured to embed the feature into the machine-readable image.

“9. A method, comprising: receiving, via a processor, a request for information associated with a user, wherein the request is received from a computing device and comprises a reason for the information and an entity associated with the computing device; identifying, via the processor, a portion of the information based on the entity and a model stored in one or more storage components, wherein the model comprises an association between the portion of the information and the entity, and wherein the model is generated based on the entity requesting the portion of the information more than a threshold number of times, and the portion of the identification information excludes an additional portion of the identification information deemed irrelevant to the entity; retrieving, via the processor, data comprising the information from the storage component; modifying, via the processor, the data to include a portion of the identification information; generating, via the processor, a machine-readable image representative of the portion of the information; and sending, via the processor, the machine-readable image to the computing device.

“10. The method of claim 9, wherein the information is associated with an insurance coverage associated with the user.

“11. The method of claim 9, comprising encrypting the portion of the information into the machine-readable image.

“12. The method of claim 9, comprising: retrieving location information associated with the processor; and generating the machine-readable image based on the location information.

“13. The method of claim 9, comprising sending an additional request for the reason to the computing device in response to receiving the request.

“14. The method of claim 9, wherein the request comprises metadata associated with the computing device.

“15. The method of claim 14, wherein the metadata comprises an identity of a requester associated with the computing device.

“16. A non-transitory computer-readable medium comprising computer-executable instructions that, when executed, are configured to cause a processor to: receive a request for identification information associated with a user, wherein the request is received from a computing device; receive information regarding a requester associated with the computing device; identify a portion of the identification information based on the requester and a model stored in a storage component wherein the model comprises an association between the portion of the identification information and the entity, and wherein the model is generated based on the entity requesting the portion of the identification information more than a threshold number of times, and the portion of the identification information excludes an additional portion of the identification information deemed irrelevant to the entity; retrieve data comprising the identification information from a storage component; generate a machine-readable image representative of the portion of the information; and send the machine-readable image to the computing device.

“17. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 16, wherein the information is indicative of an Internet protocol address, a business name, a individual name, or any combination thereof.

“18. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 16, wherein the information is indicative of a purpose for the request, a transaction type associated with the request, or both.

“19. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 16, wherein the machine-readable image comprises a barcode or Quick Response (QR) code.

“20. The non-transitory computer-readable medium of claim 16, wherein the machine-readable image comprises an additional portion of the information, and wherein the additional portion of the information is censored from view.”

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Bowen, Angela Dorothea. Systems and methods for anonymizing transaction information. U.S. Patent Number 11195242, filed February 26, 2020, and published online on December 7, 2021. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=11195242.PN.&OS=PN/11195242RS=PN/11195242

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