In Congress, lawmakers continue to debate various proposals for limiting data-collection activities, acknowledging that they must navigate a careful balance between consumer protections and choking off a primary source of revenue in the online economy.
Similarly, participants in the policy debate allow that there may be tradeoffs between privacy and security, and that a completely anonymous Web, while offering maximum privacy, would entail an unacceptable forfeiture of security and trust.
"I think when you look at these security issues you can't look at it as just being black and white, right? You can't just look at things like, 'Oh, if we have anonymity that's going to solve every problem.' There's no panacea here," said Stephen Balkam, CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute.
"If I'm about to transfer money, that should not be done anonymously. That should be done in a way that can verify really exactly who you are. And that, actually, probably requires us knowing something about each other that may not be readily apparent," Balkam said.
"I think anonymity protects certain things like human rights, freedom of speech, and those kinds of things, which are really essential elements of the Internet as well," Balkam said. "Then we have verification, authentication, which allow is to transact different kinds of things which require high levels of confidence that you are who you say you are. So I think we have to look at the Internet as being all those things combined."
Read more about privacy in CIO's Privacy Drilldown.
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