Anonymity vs. Confidentiality

In the field of data handling, the two terms anonymity and confidentiality hold paramount importance. However, they are often confused by many people.

Several individuals believe that both terms refer to the same concept. However, though they seem to be similar, there is a big difference that differentiates them. The only common aspect they share is that both these terms limit the data that is made accessible to others.

If you are someone who had believed both these terms refer to the same thing, or if you feel confused in this aspect, you can check out blogs like HuffPost and be sure to go through this article. It might probably help you to get a clear picture of this. You might also get an insight into what to be careful while putting out personal information to the public.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality
Confidentiality

It refers to the act where the information regarding a person’s identity or so is kept hidden. That means, even though the information regarding this is known, it is limited to a few people. Others are restricted from gaining this information.

This is applicable predominantly in the fields of research. Here, the participation of individuals is a must, and the details about their information might give implication to the result. Though the results are announced and published to others, the link cannot help to retrace the path and unwind the participant’s personal information.

Only a few people concerned about the study get to know the identity of the people involved in the study. Thus, the connection that links the participating individuals and the activity in the survey is kept concealed from the others. This is the underlying sense of the term confidentiality. However, as per the demands of the circumstances, it can be inclined as the concerned people’s wishes.

Pros

  • The provision for keeping things confidential helps o protect the sensitive information.
  • It is of utmost importance in businesses as the advertisers and marketers can choose the information about their business that is to be revealed to the public.

Cons

  • As the provision for keeping information confidential helps the businessman to put out only the information they want, it can negatively affect the consumers. The consequence is that the consumers will not be informed thoroughly on a particular product or service.
  • Chances of leakage of the information are likely. There is no full guarantee that the disclosed information that is kept in confidence shall stay well-concealed. The outcomes that follow might not be favorable and shall be associated with hazardous consequences.

Anonymity

Anonymity
Anonymity

Against confidentiality where the information about the identity of the person or so is hidden, here in anonymity, it is unknown. Thus, the process of retracing to unveil the person responsible for a particular activity will not help in anyways as this information are anonymous and not hidden.

Pros

  • One need not have a fear of being criticized. None can judge you for any of your actions as your identity is not disclosed. Thus, it gives you the chance to be yourself without fearing an inch on the consequences that may affect you later.
  • You can do anything as per your wish without the fear of being discovered. Nothing of your personal information goes out, and this fact might give you enough courage to do everything you wanted to do. Let it be starting conversations or sharing data or anything, and you can choose to do it without holding any fears. The advantage is that even if something goes wrong, you will not be held accountable and casually walks away.
  • You are free to explore and run through the internet endlessly as you wish from the bottom of your heart. You are free to try out anything and explore your tastes. You can be the person you decide to be over the internet. You can make new connections and move on as your heart desires.
  • Safety is assured if you anonymously browse over the internet. Your identity would stay unknown to anyone, and thus you can go to any extent you want without the fear of getting caught.

Cons

  • You might find it fun and exciting to make new friends online by being anonymous. However, there is a significant danger of you getting addicted to those people you barely have information. You might not be able to make friends in the real world, which would have been a lot more safe and fun.
  • The shadow of anonymity gives many people to speak their way, be it truth or lie. For long, many have utilized the advantage to lie extensively.
  • Many people misuse the opportunity given t them. It is not strange that the shade of anonymity offers many people the license to offend and abuse others.

Final Verdict

Thorough knowledge of the similarities and differences between anonymity and confidentiality is necessary to handle the data-in-hand well. Analyze the situation and carefully choose the ways to protect your data.

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