From this talk: http://vimeo.com/8053634, around 35 minutes he argues that privacy is part of security.

What is your take on that? Are privacy questions on topic on this board?


1 Answer 1


Yes, privacy is a vital part of security. Privacy is the result of a person having the ability to control information about themselves. That is in general granting to individuals the power to make choices about who they share their information with.

Allowing individuals to have the power to keep issues confidential is critical to their security, because it allows them to deny information to threats.

In security jargon a threat is a person capable to doing damage to a target by theft, destruction, or other means.

For example, if a person is the potential target of a theft or assault, they would be wise to keep their location confidential. They could reduce their risk by not disclosing their possession of items that would attract a thief, like jewelry or large amounts of cash.

A person who might be at risk of discrimination because of their nationality or religion may decide to keep that information private.

There are many good examples of how keeping information private provides reduction of risk (in turn greater security) and those questions are accepted here as long as they related to IT.

  • 2
    Good answer. I just wanted to add Privacy is a part of the "C" in CIA (Confidentiality, Integrity, Availability).
    – Jeff
    Jan 16, 2013 at 13:06
  • An excellent answer. You might also want to differentiate this from security by obscurity. Privacy in meatspace doesn't always have the implementation pitfalls that obscurity in cyberspace does. Jan 16, 2013 at 15:56

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