Apple’s retention of purchaser name and email information in iTunes Plus files, which do not use DRM, hasgenerated controversy about online privacy and the embedding of personal information in digital files. But Alastair Houghton believes that privacy and anonymity are distinguishable terms. In a comment below the main post, he defines the difference thusly:

The difference between anonymity and privacy is really that anonymity is about keeping youridentity secret from people you are coming into contact with. Privacy, on the other hand, is about having a reasonable expectation that certain information, usually of a personal or financial nature, will not be distributed outside of the expectations of those responsible.

Is Houghton’s distinction useful, and if so, is it a distinction the public understands? Finally, if the distinction is useful, could it be a useful starting point in finding reasonable compromises between businesses’ needs for personal information, and consumer privacy concerns?

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