Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Privacy versus Anonymity

They say that the price of fame is privacy. That’s why you hear of so many stories of celebrities hurling punches (or cellphones) at the papparazi that have intruded a little too deeply into their private lives.

A few posts ago, someone asked me in the comments section if I was former GEP, or if I was working at the NRF. I declined to answer the second question. The first I have already answered in a previous post.

Too many people confuse privacy with anonymity. The biggest difference between the two is that privacy can be reclaimed, for example with expansive mansions, bodyguards and CCTVs. That’s how the celebrities do it. In contrast, anonymity cannot be reclaimed. Once lost, anonymity is gone forever. 

It is not privacy, but anonymity, that is the antithesis of fame.

Professor X from X-Men said it best: Anonymity is a mutant’s first line of defence.

If I were not anonymous, I would feel less free to speak of my views, whether they are deemed controversial or not. This freedom from self-censorship is something that I value and that I will not give up lightly. So despite having written previously on some of my personal experiences and history, I will not write anything that is both current and that contains personal identifiers.

So no questions on where I work, what I do, or who I socialize with. I won’t answer any of them, and that’s that. 

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