Anonymity V/s Privacy

Understanding the concept of privacy:~

You lock your room from inside to stay private and to stay away from distractions, closing the door so that no one sees what you are doing is the core concept of privacy cus' everyone knows it's your room but no one knows what you are doing in it.

Privacy can be defined as "being in charge of your own information and choosing who deserves to know it and who doesn't... "

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Anonymity v/s Privacy

atharvkarandikar.wixsite.com

"Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say."

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No doubt we are living in an age where everyone has a digital footprint and that we are being tracked of our every action. Raging from our social information to our financial statistics and all the way to location tracking, everything is being mapped and stored. The United States has already been proven guilty of mass surveillance over citizens without their proper consent. Imagine a guy sitting remotely at his desktop monitoring your activities and logs, gives chills down the spine right?

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Understanding metadata:~

Let's say you wrote an article so it's understood that you'll probably write down the date on which you wrote it along with the "Title of the article" then you'll write your name cus' you are the author, you'll probably have this much information on the article right?. So this is the metadata about the article that describes 'How, When and by whom the article was written.

So we can describe metadata as" data that provides information about other data". In other words, it is "data about data".

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The images that we post online contains a substantial amount of metadata such as

  • type of camera used,
  • mode of flash,
  • aperture open time and size,
  • date, time of capture,
  • location info,
  • type of phone (if the image was captured using a phone), its model, etc.

So when you look at a broader picture even though you have posted a simple selfie from your private account it still holds a whole lot of information than you can imagine.

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Understanding the concept of anonymity:~

Anonymity simply means "data in which the personal identifiers have been either removed, substituted, masked or aggregated. This allows data to be shared among interested parties without worrying about the information disclosure of the first originator... "

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Let's emphasise how to anonymise ourselves and stay safe on the internet. It might seem a bit overwhelming in the beginning:~

  • Choosing the right operating system
  • Using TOR
  • Use decentralised or open source apps

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We should be aware of the services we use and their purpose. Often it's observed when we require to make an OTP verification for a certain app, we have to allow the messaging permissions for that matter but as soon as OTP verification is done how many of us revoke the permission that is no longer needed. So it should be our general awareness to look for apps that are asking for unreasonable services.

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VPN makes you anonymous, just use VPN...

Honestly, NO it doesn't make you anonymous not at all it just establishes an encrypted tunnel between you and VPN server you choose to connect and this can be easily stripped and traced back to you. Also, it gets really fishy cus' the company that's providing you service has access to all your data that you search via the VPN tunnel and that data can be either sold by them or just in case if the company gets hacked you are still doomed in the name of anonymity. There seems no anonymity in that. Right?

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