Personal Privacy

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Revision as of 10:58, 21 June 2018 by Tom (talk | contribs) (These are some of the steps under development)

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Full Title or Meme

A list of various ways in which user private information can be protected by user actions now and in the future.


Pages on the site where the broad definitions may be found:

  • Privacy is the page where the broad definitions may be found.
  • Identity Pathologies is the page where the various vulnerabilities are delineated.

User private data is required for release of web resources. Minimizing the amount of data released or its misuse after release is the object of this effort to list the steps that can be taken today by user as well as the developments that are still evolving.

There are four entities that are in play here.

  1. The user on a user device (aka a user agent).
  2. The resource provider (aka a relying party.)
  3. Identifier and Attribute Providers.
  4. Data Harvester or Broker


Users have a variety of reasons not to let their personal information be broadly available, some of those are:

  • The right to the "let alone" based on a legal theory of Warren and Brandies.
    • Intimidation by people with evil intent (an active reason to be "let alone").
    • Government harassment (not always your own government), or worse.
    • Harassment by organizations what want to change the government, or worse.
    • Annoyance by trolls or advertisements by scammers looking profit by your vulnerability.
  • The use of personal data to "steal you identity".
    • Loss of potential (or real) earnings or direct attack on funds on deposit.
    • Tracking on-line makes you feel weird (where there is not any direct personal loss).
  • Embarrassment over one's past behavior or attributes (may also create direct personal loss).
  • Discrimination based on one's personal attributes, health history or behavior.
  • You are a crook or deviant.

There are benefits:

  • The user experience is more personal and directed to your interests.
  • Lots of valuable content on the web is free.


These are the steps that should be considered now

  1. Newer browser are more supportive of user privacy, but many of the most powerful features are off by default.
    1. Firefox released [1] new privacy tools like a feature for block ad-trackers, a container for web sites like Facebook, no video auto-start, etc.
    2. Chrome and Microsoft Edge come with powerful cloud based site validation.
  2. It is possible to install browser extension on desktop computers that improve privacy:
    1. Tunnel Bear and IPVN create a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect data in transit.
    2. Ghostery, Privacy Badger, AdBlock and others block ads and web trackers, some web sites will not work with these full enabled.
  3. Install two browsers on your device and designate one of them for financial transactions with all security settings turned on.

These are some of the steps under development

  1. The GDPR is slowly going into effect starting on 2018-05-24. While this specifically targets EU residents, it is having world-wide effect.
  2. Consent receipt
  3. DID, blockchain and a whole bunch of other blue sky musings.


  1. Brian X. Chen Firefox Is Back, With Improved Privacy Tools And Speed 2018-06-21 New York Times