kantablog Written by Kanta Nakamura

Identification and anonymity【Report for Information Privacy】


This is a report I wrote during my sophomore year of college. 

This report is about:

Identification and anonymity【Report for Information Privacy】




From Data and Goliath: Identification and anonymity p.96

We all have experience with identifying ourselves on the Internet. Some websites tie your online identity to your real identity: banks, websites for some government services, and so on. Then, by linking the app to bank accounts and other accounts, money could be easily exchanged online. Identification methods have also evolved over the years, including passwords, fingerprint verification, and facial recognition. The takeaway is that none of these systems is perfect, but all are generally good enough for their applications. At a very basic level, we are unable to identify individual pieces of hardware and software when a malicious adversary is trying to evade detection. We can’t attach identifying information to data packets zipping around the Internet. That is to say, we don’t know who leaves anonymous comments. We can’t even be sure whether a particular attack was criminal or military in origin, or which government was behind it. Over the years, many proposals have been made to eliminate anonymity. Internet If every person’s behavior can be attributed, every criminals, spammers, stalkers, and criminals can be easily identified by tracing their origin. Basically, everyone would get the Internet equivalent of a driver’s license. This is an impossible goal. First of all, we don’t have the real-world infrastructure to provide Internet user credentials based on other identification systems—passports, national identity cards, driver’s licenses, whatever—which is what would be needed. It is always possible to set up an anonymity service on top of the ID. System. This fact already annoys countries like China that want to identify everyone who uses. In other words, in today’s information society, there is so much information that the question is how to deal with it. The biggest problem there is the issue regarding privacy and issues such as anonymity. To what extent can I be anonymous? How do companies manage and use users’ information? As the information society evolves, new problems arise. We need to constantly confront and think about these issues.


I choose chapter about identification and anonymity. It’s because lately I have been interested in web3 and have been doing a lot of research on it. Because even in class, I gave a presentation on Apple’s privacy policy. Privacy has been discussed frequently as the information society has expanded. What got me interested in these things was cyptocurrency. Cyptocurrency is now spreading at a tremendous rate around the world, and some countries have even adopted bitcoin as legal tender. I think this event is a connected story about identification and anonymity .

I believe that anonymity will become more and more common in the future. This is because anonymity solves current social problems and creates great projects. Defi, for example, is typical. DeFi refers to financial applications built on blockchain technology that enable digital transactions between multiple parties. The blockchain is essentially a public ledger for digital assets, including cryptocurrencies. DeFi can involve lending crypto, sending crypto, or investing crypto. This Defi is powered by a technology called blockchain. Blockchain is a shared, immutable ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network. An asset can be tangible (a house, car, cash, land) or intangible (intellectual property, patents, copyrights, branding). Why is blockchain so great? That is because various contracts can be made without an intermediary. This means that contracts are stored in the program. Its name is Smart Contracts. People without money in developing countries and other countries cannot open bank accounts. This is because opening a bank account requires identification, and people without money are less likely to open a bank account because they lack credit. In the world of cryptocurrency, however, even the poorest person can create a wallet. Anyone with an Internet connection can open an account. When you use a bank, you need to send money through the bank to transfer money. With cryptocurrencies, however, money can be transferred without an intermediary as long as there is an address to which the money can be sent. I believe these are the benefits of anonymity.

Another good thing is that it is difficult to leak users’ personal information. As we all know, as this society has grown, it has become a society overflowing with information. Companies such as Google, Meta, and Apple have led the world in creating that information society. The problem that has arisen, however, is that these companies, which used to be just companies, now hold a great deal of personal information and have a tremendous amount of influence. Most of internet lives off of targeted ads and companies keep track of our internet behavior. Companies can then manipulate the ads to suit the user and provide information at their convenience. Can a company really do that? We need to think about it again. Therefore, WEB3 is currently attracting attention and expanding its market. A Web3 internet would also be permissionless, meaning anyone could use it without having to generate access credentials or get permission from a provider. Instead of being stored on servers as it is now, the data that makes up the internet would be stored on the network. In other words, Web3 is the way companies will be required to be in the future, and it will help protect users’ personal information. Until now, with Web2, we users were required to provide our personal information and sometimes even identification in order to use a company’s services. Companies used this information to develop their businesses and manipulate impressions by placing convenient advertisements, and the power of companies became too strong. Another concern is the leakage of users’ personal information due to corporate mismanagement. Some of these incidents actually happened. “Personal information from roughly 1.5 billion worldwide Facebook users was allegedly put up for sale following a recent leak. A member of a known forum for hackers claimed to be in possession of the information in late September and offered to sell it in chunks to others on the forum, according to a report from Privacy Affairs. One user claimed to have gotten a quote of $5,000 for the informationof 1 million users. The user allegedly in possession of the leaked information claimed that it included the following for each Facebook account: name, email address, location, gender, phone number and user ID.” I would say this is another drawback of Web2. Web3 would not have this problem. This is because companies do not hold users’ personal information. It is a stress-free society with no unnecessary identification.

But anonymity and eliminating identification can of course have its bad as well as its good. For example, a person’s credibility is drastically reduced by anonymity. The spread of anonymity will lead to the spread of gaining trust by showing one’s face and making one’s background public. I think the benefits of anonymity are huge. Of course, there are areas of concern, but we look forward to future Web3 and blockchain projects.


Thank you for reading.