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Security vs Privacy

 , updated on January 14, 2023
Security is the protection of people, assets and information from harm or abuse. Privacy is freedom from being observed or disturbed by other people.

Security vs Privacy

Security and privacy are often presented as a tradeoff. This is widely considered a false dichotomy. That is to say, that it is possible to provide any level of security without violating privacy.
Eliminating privacy does make security easier. This can be shown with obvious examples. If everyone is required to show up at an airport naked, airport security is easier to implement. If governments are allowed access to all private communications, it may prevent security incidents by unsophisticated entities who forget to sufficiently encrypt things. If governments are allowed access to sensor data located in private homes, this may also make security easier.
Everyone wants their job to be easier and it is natural for security forces to request reductions in privacy. However, security can be implemented in ways that protect privacy as opposed to violating it.
Governments that focus security on violation-of-privacy initiatives may be missing more robust techniques that can defend society without needing to know what everyone is thinking at all times. For example, detection of physical threats such as gunpowder and explosives could be widely deployed as opposed to cameras.
Security vs Privacy
Security
Privacy
Definition
Protection of people, assets and information from harm or abuse.
Freedom from being observed or disturbed.
Relationship
Security defends privacy
Privacy requires security

Technology Ethics

This is the complete list of articles we have written about technology ethics.
Accountability
Agency
Cultural Lag
Culture Lag
Dark Patterns
Digital Divide
Embrace, Extend ...
Net Neutrality
Precautionary Principle
Precrime
Transparency
More ...
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