The Anonymity Experiment' by Catherine Price

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In her text, "The Anonymity Experiment," Catherine Price addresses the lack of privacy of persons in the process of digitization and the spread of information technology (Price, 2008). The author attempts to propose certain ways of living in the age of information technology without leaving any digital footprint. Increased breach of records, misuse of personal information, and user monitoring features of websites are all disturbing risks to individual privacy, which she highlights in her text by well-researched information. Despite the popular belief, no corporation or government guarantees any privacy in a completely wired world, where a person’s sensitive information is few keystrokes away. No broad or generally accepted law protects individual privacy completely. The author, on her way to keep privacy protected in the modern world, conducts a privacy experiment, which she names “to hide in plain sight”.

The key idea of the article is that despite desperate measure to remain untracked and off-the-grid, it is next to impossible to keep personal information from being stored by many agencies and organization. In her experiment, Price did avoid every piece of contact with technology to protect her privacy from the information-greedy digital world of surveillance and tracking, yet she is unsure that if her privacy was protected. On her one-week experiment, she did not attend her job, did not play any video games or get married or arrested, in which case she could do nothing to keep her privacy intact from the concerned authorities. One major lesson that has been learnt from the article is that ‘being anonymous’ is not synonymous to ‘being protected’ as anonymity could not be practiced at all stages of life. Again, from a hospital where an individual is born to the school here he studies, personal information including social security number and identifications are already registered. So there is no right time to start practicing the habit of remaining off-the-grid; everyone who is alive has digital footprints on the Internet regardless of whether they use it or not.

September 21, 2021


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Research Privacy Digital Era

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Expertise Digital Era
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