While individuals should be able to live their lives as they see fit, free from persecution, we live in a world where data has power, and our data is sold to the highest bidder.
Without privacy, we don’t have the power to fight against institutions that might use our data to profile and discriminate against us on the basis of our age, gender, race, interests, habits, etc. As such, privacy is necessary to guarantee our freedom – from institutional influence and to live as we please.
Freedom of opportunity
Biased institutions can use personal data to discriminate against individuals, limiting their access to social, educational, economic, medical or product resources.
Personal data that may be of interest to these institutions includes information about our social lives, such as the people with whom we associate in a platonic or romantic way; our political beliefs, and the political groups we support, and the things we say to others online with confidence.
With this data, institutions could severely restrict the opportunities of individuals. For example, imagine a college admissions committee that turns down a candidate because of an out of context message they sent to a friend. Or a job firing an employee after learning about the volunteer work the employee has done for a political group for which the job is not favorable.
Governments may also cite this data as a reason for restricting individuals’ access to resources (such as travel, financial services, or equal pay), as is the case with some of the social credit systems driven by the government. China.
Freedom of will
Personal data can be used to learn a lot about people, far beyond things you might expect like their social or political affiliations – personal data can be used to exploit the way people think and behave. .
By presenting individuals with stimuli and measuring their response, it is possible to determine what types of information and to what methods of transmitting information they respond most strongly. And, you might have guessed, this is largely how social media algorithms hook and scroll users.
This information can be used to influence people’s thoughts. Scientific American describes how Facebook, together with researchers at Cornell University, discovered that it could influence users’ emotions by algorithmically altering their feeds:
“In 2014, Facebook conducted a colossal psychosocial experiment online. . . over nearly 700,000 unconscious users, algorithmically altering their newsfeeds to observe changes in their emotions. The results of the study. . . has shown the ability of the social network to make people happier or sadder on a large scale and without their knowledge. . . . “
Taken further, this information can be used to influence human behavior, as in the case of the late data analytics giant Cambridge Analytica, which was convicted of using social media to influence elections around the world. whole.
Be safe from harm
For some, privacy is about personal security. Take, for example, journalists in countries with strict censorship or political dissidents fighting authoritarian regimes. Their work exposes them to detention or even death.
Currently, they rely on services like Tor, a decentralized relay of computers that anonymizes traffic, to stay secure. However, efforts are constantly being made by central government authorities to thwart these tools.
People in less difficult situations also rely on the protection of their privacy. In the case of those whose friends or family have regressive views of their romantic relationships, those with sensitive medical histories, or those on the run from dangerous situations – privacy protects them from ostracism, privacy. discrimination or direct harm.
No measure of confidentiality is sufficient if your financial data is public or held by centralized financial authorities. Data about your transactions – what you buy, where and when you buy it – can reveal much of the sensitive information we’ve discussed so far.
Individuals should be able to transact in private without fear of being watched, tried or persecuted. The world of banks and centralized payment processors makes this a far-fetched reality for most. However, inspired by cutting-edge technology and a penchant for freedom, the cryptocurrency community is fighting back.
Most cryptocurrencies are ill-equipped to handle truly private transactions due to their lack of built-in privacy protocols and expose critical transaction data such as transaction amounts and user wallet addresses.
This is where privacy coins, cryptocurrencies that implement digital privacy technologies to reduce the traceability of transactions and provide greater anonymity to users, can help. One example is Navcoin’s xNAV, which uses a self-developed privacy protocol called “blsCT” to make transactions untraceable.
xNAV achieves this by grouping all transactions within a block, hiding key transaction data such as coin amounts and wallet addresses, and then intelligently moving coins between users despite the lack of transaction data. publicly visible. xNAV also supports encrypted messaging, atomic exchanges, and pruning.
- Encrypted messaging allows users to include private messages in transactions, providing a solution for people who need to communicate privately.
- Atomic exchanges allow users to exchange xNAV for other privacy-protected tokens with each other anonymously in a decentralized environment.
- Pruning allows nodes to run without registering the entire blockchain, increasing the potential number of devices that can secure the network and increasing the degree of decentralization of xNAV.
Soon Navcoin will evolve into a highly utilitarian privacy platform that provides privacy as a service, allowing other cryptocurrencies to achieve privacy through its network. This service will dramatically increase the demand for Navcoin as all fees will be paid with it.
Privacy is important when it comes to personal freedoms because it protects information that others might use to control us. Financial information is particularly vulnerable because our transactions can reveal a lot about us, such as our social and political affiliations, our medical history, and our habits.
Most cryptocurrencies use blockchains which are transparent by design, making them insufficient for private transactions. On the contrary, Navcoin’s xNAV privacy coin enables private transactions thanks to the ‘blsCT’ privacy protocol developed by Navcoin, which effectively masks key transaction data such as wallet addresses, wallet balances and transaction amounts. , thus breaking the link between senders and recipients.
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