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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Dave Kearns and Dictionary.Com on Privacy

Identity, Privacy
Author: Mark Dixon
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
5:44 pm

imageTriggered by Dave Kearn’s article today, “What is Privacy, Really,” I spent a few minutes this afternoon with my good friend dictionary.com.  It is amazing what one can learn about word meanings by (virtually) flipping through the pages of a dictionary.

Privacy: the state of being free from intrusion or disturbance in one’s private life or affairs: the right to privacy.

This was a bit circular in its reasoning, so I looked up “private”:

Private: confined to or intended only for the persons immediately concerned; confidential: a private meeting.

These meanings match well Dave’s desire to exercise control over when he divulges personal information:

I can see no reason to cough up details of my business, number of employees, target date for purchase, types of computers, operating systems, applications, etc., simply to read a high-class marketing document

A related term is confidential – again related to the ability to keep information private:

Confidential: spoken, written, acted on, etc., in strict privacy or secrecy; secret: a confidential remark.

For example, I can assure you that there are details of my personal life that nobody but my wife knows.  We intend to keep it that way, even if powers like Facebook and Google would have it otherwise.

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