Can Human Anonymity be Constructed?
Are Human Identity and Human Anonymity compatible in online or Internet interactions, transactions?
To begin to wrestle with these questions take a look at the complex and challenging process recommended as a best practice by the Washington Post for constructing imperfect anonymity online.
SecureDrop – The Washington Post.
Why is human anonymity so hard to construct on line and how is this difficulty central to the human trust experience ? Does the elaborate process the Washington Post has created indicate that someone is intending to tell the truth as they know it? Or that they are intending to mislead or lie about something? One thing I take away from the Washington Post SecureDrop process is that both the sender and receiver of the message anticipate and intend that the message not be distributed even though the sender and receiver don’t know each other. This is a very high standard of privacy—my mouth to your ear. Further it seems clear that both sides without even knowing the content of the message anticipate or want to make it possible for the importance of the message to be inferred as well as maintained. This is not throw away language but language that both the human sender and the human receiver must have confidence—to a very high degree of certainty—will be transmitted completely with its original content. This is a powerfully human experience of trust, mistrust, of risk and even intimacy. From this view the stakes for the human trust experience are very high.
I will be building a privacy use case for online anonymity from an exploration of online anonymity.