Security vs. Privacy?

 In Security

The recent hack of pro-extra-marital website Ashley Madison has unleashed a range of responses.

Some people are giddy while others are angry.  Some people find it fascinating, and others could not care less.  Among those with an opinion, it has spawned a flurry of debate.

Part of the spectacle is the sheer volume of affected people.  Latest reports indicate that as many as 37 Million users may have been exposed.

No, we don’t wish to rephrase that.

Cheeky comments aside, this incident may give us a chance to surface some very important cultural questions as we grapple with our maturity in the digital age.

[full_width_color bg_color=”#ccc” color=”#333333″]What’s the Difference Between Privacy and Anonymity?[/full_width_color]

On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog“, says the old cartoon.

But there are important distinctions between privacy and anonymity.

Accountability can be maintained with with privacy.  No so much with anonymity.

So, which should we be defending?

[full_width_color bg_color=”#ccc” color=”#333333″]Is Privacy a Right or a Privilege?[/full_width_color]

Privacy and Anonymity on the Internet have a long, tumultuous past.

We may need to determine which one is more worth fighting for.

And give some serious thought as to why.

[full_width_color bg_color=”#ccc” color=”#333333″]Can We Respect the Privacy of Something or Someone We Do Not Agree With?[/full_width_color]

This is a big, uncomfortable question.

We all have things we’d like to keep private.  And it is much easier to say we believe in privacy for all than it is to defend it.  But, what happens when that privacy causes damage to other people?  Where do we draw the line of engagement and responsibility?

[full_width_color bg_color=”#ccc” color=”#333333″]Should We Act On Principle, Or Desired Outcome?[/full_width_color]

My heart hurts for all the unaware spouses that may be in for a very publicly humiliating debacle if this thing continues.

Let’s hope that the attackers can accomplish their goals without damaging the privacy of the innocent.  If they are willing to destroy others’ privacy, then there will be some who say they deserve none of their own.

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