International Privacy Day
As you are undoubtedly aware, yesterday was International Privacy Day (you knew that, right?). And since anonymity is sort of an issue at ye old Humboldt Herald, we thought you’d like this from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
The Right to Anonymity is a Matter of Privacy
This January 28 marks International Privacy Day. Different countries around the world are celebrating this day with their own events. This year, we are honoring the day by calling attention to recent international privacy threats and interviewing data protection authorities, government officials, and activists to gain insight into various aspects of privacy rights and related legislation in their own respective countries.
Throughout history, there have been a number of reasons why individuals have taken to writing or producing art under a pseudonym. In the 18th century, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay took on the pseudonym Publius to publish The Federalist Papers. In 19th century England, pseudonyms allowed women–like the Brontë sisters, who initially published under Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell–to be taken seriously as writers.
Today, pseudonyms continue to serve a range of individuals, and for a variety of reasons. At EFF, we view anonymity as both a matter of free speech and privacy, but in light of International Privacy Day, January 28, this piece will focus mainly on the latter, looking at the ways in which the right to anonymity–or pseudonymity–is truly a matter of privacy.