I was reading the web article Google CEO Schmidt: No Anonymity Is The Future Of Web this morning where Eric Schmidt is quoted as saying:
Privacy is incredibly important. Privacy is not the same thing as anonymity. It’s very important that Google and everyone else respects people’s privacy. People have a right to privacy; it’s natural; it’s normal. It’s the right way to do things. But if you are trying to commit a terrible, evil crime, it’s not obvious that you should be able to do so with complete anonymity. There are no systems in our society which allow you to do that. Judges insist on unmasking who the perpetrator was. So absolute anonymity could lead to some very difficult decisions for our governments and our society as a whole.
Some espouse that the loss of anonymity will endanger privacy. I can see both sides of the argument and again, as I stated in my post on March 2nd – Do I want to be anonymous? Yes! Do I want to be authenticated? Yes! that it is all about balance. Can I, or should I, be anonymous when I want to perform on-line banking? No. Is it anyone’s business what I look at, or when, or why, when I surf the net? No.
So again, it’s not either-or, but a balance. Sometimes anonymity is desired, and sometime non-repudiation.