Probably this is a redundent post but in fact I have been searching online about a precise clear distinction between computer security and privacy. I'd like to know the difference of between them through an example.

Thank you.

  • 2
    Please let us know what your search has yielded so far. Jan 31, 2016 at 18:53
  • Please look up the CIA triad of security. You might find your answer (or a more refined question) there.
    – schroeder
    Jan 31, 2016 at 20:17

2 Answers 2


Security is defined as the state of a system in which confidentiality, integrity and availability of data is granted.

Privacy is the ability of a natural person to control the distribution of his or her personal information.

If you are using for example a system of a big company - let's call it Oogle - it might be that their system is pretty secure, but doesn't respect your privacy at all because they sell your data. On the other hand, you can have open source software which does not store any user information - so you know it's granting privacy, but this could still be insecure if someone exploits a bug in it.


The privacy of a system is all about making clear to the user how their information is going to be used and shared. That is, the amount of control an individual should be able to have and expect.

The security of a system is ensuring that this expectation of privacy is met. That is, the mechanisms that can be put into place to provide this level of control.

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