Terminology for privacy

Privacy is such a vast topic. Here is a quick overview of common terms you might find a bit vague or that are sometimes used interchangeably while they don’t describe the exact same concept.

Permalink to heading Transparency Transparency

Being transparent typically consists of explaining to your customers or end-users what is happening or what will happen to their data.

Permalink to heading Data integrity Data integrity

Data integrity is the act of maintaining data consistency and accuracy everywhere the data goes. It actively protects users from harmful data loss or leaks.

Data integrity is a great part of data protection.

Permalink to heading Data protection or security Data protection or security

Protecting your data is critical for your global digital security. It includes your real and online identities, your online activities, your emails and any other channels of communication, and many more.

Data can also be corrupted, compromised, stolen or lost, so you need protection against various threats, and practical means to restore it in a functional state, but also access restrictions, for authorized purposes only.

For websites and apps, the challenge is to keep the data usable for the business without trading end-users’ privacy.

Permalink to heading Data confidentiality Data confidentiality

Confidential data can be sensitive documents containing critical information about customers, or individuals in general.

It’s like the highest level of security for private documents. For example, information you share with your doctor or your lawyer is strictly confidential.

Lawyers have to maintain confidentiality even if their clients have committed a crime.

Confidentiality is a contract. Nobody can access to your information unless you explicitly give your consent.

Permalink to heading Privacy Privacy

Privacy is not anonymity. Various actors will be able to see who you are, but not what you do.

It’s also the right of individuals to not disclose some information publicly.

Permalink to heading Anonymity Anonymity

The idea with anonymity is to not let anybody know who you are, even if some actors can see that [someone] is doing something. Anonymity is like hiding in the crowd.

It’s essential not to confuse anonymity with cryptomarkets and darknets, even if it’s usually required in such areas.

Anonymity is not “pseudonymity.” Being anonymous requires to stay absolutely unidentifiable, whereas a pseudo only keeps your real identity private (from the public).

For example, you might use a pseudo to write articles or write some comments.

Permalink to heading Secrecy Secrecy

In such configuration, nobody is supposed to know anything, including what happens AND who you are.