Tag - privacy

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When Encrypted Communication Is Not Good Enough

When Encrypted Communication Is Not Good Enough

Lisa Myers of Dark Reading writes about when encrypted communication is not good enough, primarily from the perspective of discussing life-and-death type issues:

Encryption of sensitive data is obviously a way to decrease the utility of that information if an unexpected person were to get hold of it, which is good enough for almost anyone in almost any situation. It’s how I would send most of my own sensitive information.

When you use end-to-end encryption, those third parties necessary to process the transmissions may not have access to the data within, but they certainly do have access to the metadata. In the aftermath of the Snowden revelations, few of us still wonder what the big deal is with sharing data about your data, if the original data per se is protected.

Just in case you didn’t catch that moment of collective panic: metadata collection is as if something analogous to Dewey Decimal System were automatically applied to communications so that the data about your data could be found without having to know who the author is or what the specific contents are.

This brings up the question of why we are protecting data. Some people seem to view protection simply from a perspective of reducing the chances of someone stealing data or using it for fraud. But there are other cases where things could be lost that are worth more than the time or money needed to recover from theft or fraud. While losing something like financial records is no small matter, there are subjects that some people find even more damaging to reveal to others. Arguably this could include mental or physical health records, but it could also be something as simple as gossip.

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