Opinion that 'obfuscation of personal information' is effective for protecting personal privacy

In the life of modern people, it is inevitable that a large amount of personal information will be transmitted on the Internet. Along with that, while some people are crying out that 'personal information should be completely managed by the person himself', Associate Professor Finn Brunton, a media professor at New York University, and Helen Nissenbaum at Cornell Institute of Technology. The professor argues that 'to protect privacy, personal information should be obfuscated rather than completely hidden.'

The Fantasy of Opting Out | The MIT Press Reader


The daily lives of modern people depend on Internet services such as Amazon and Gmail, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter, which are used through devices such as smartphones and PCs. In addition, surveillance cameras throughout the streets have made it easier to track personal life records.

The personal information collected in this way is beyond the control of the individual and may be passed on to a third party without his knowledge. To prevent this, it is important to 'opt out' to stop the provision of personal information to third parties at the request of the person.

However, modern society is already in a state of mutual surveillance with cameras and social media, and 'it is a prison where it is difficult to escape without high walls, cages, and guards,' says Brunton and others. The cost of refusing to disclose personal information is already very high, and the only way to completely shut out the leakage of personal information is to live far away from the business or commercial center.

Therefore, Associate Professor Brunton and his colleagues are proposing a strategy to ' obfuscate ' personal information by mixing noise with it instead of hiding it.

For example, the following methods are specifically mentioned as methods for obfuscating personal information.
-By using Tor technology, it is possible to hide the monitoring of Internet activity to some extent.
-Browser extensions such as TrackMeNot and AdNauseam obfuscate Internet activity by requesting fake search requests and loading ads.
-A browser extension called GoRando allows you to randomly select the emotions when you like on Facebook, making emotional profiling obfuscated.
-Also, it is often pointed out that the face recognition system may link the face to the individual, but instead of hiding the face to prevent it, the direction is to trick the face recognition system in a way that makes the face look like valid.

Associate Professor Brunton et al. 'There is no simple solution because the privacy problem itself is a problem of a society that is constantly changing.' 'Privacy does not mean to stop data leakage, but the purpose and values of society. It means smart and correct data flow for the vulnerable and disadvantaged people, 'he said, and obfuscating personal information is truly useful.

in Security, Posted by log1i_yk