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Complete anonymity is questionable, and only a few can achieve it.
Most of us don't have the tools and knowledge at our disposal to achieve it.
Still, we should always try to make it more difficult, avoid publicizing sensitive information, and not allow our private information to reach the hands of scammers.
Our privacy is our security. The less information we pass to randoms on the internet, the more secure we are.
Still, no matter the protection we apply, an individual with a "certain set of skills " can always trace our identity and private information.
Since our governments already did a lousy job to protect our privacy when they forced the transfer of sensitive private information online through procedures and services that clearly were not secure enough.
The target of scammers is not always us personally. It can be our families, loved ones, and friends.
It is a responsibility, then, since the target of a scam can also be someone else besides ourselves.
Scammers will use leaked someone's private information to extract funds from friends and relatives.
Our private and sensitive information, our biometrics, is also a form of identity and can be used to deceive people close to us. I don't want to expand further on this, but consider what we read and learn (from the news) regarding common scams and their practices.
Personally, I have provided details of my identity to a single person that works for the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem, as there was a proposal I felt I had to examine further, but eventually, I had so many issues going on, and that extra stress would have been a burden. I still have limited time and will probably have to decline most proposals unless the procedure is direct and does not demand a cost from my side (signups to government institutions, reporting income, business accounts, etc.).
The issue here, is that the cost and time needed (e.g. cost of signing up, visits to accountants, government institutions) is too much, while the income is probably not stable or not that significant to justify officially signing up as a freelancer.
If it matters, I won't be anonymous (and I am not for some), in case it creates more trust and leads to opportunities.
Although, I still value anonymity when it comes to the online threats we have to face and how our exposure on the internet can become a danger.
Sometimes, we don't know who's insecurities we could trigger online, and knowing how part of our society behaves, I prefer not to expose private information unless it becomes necessary and a significant opportunity emerges.
In case anyone with a certain set of skills decides to, they can find almost any identity they want and other information since governments have already forced KYC'ed us and often, out of incompetence, leaked our names and private data to the public even without anyone hacking them. This is how the state works anyway, don't expect them to protect your privacy or personal interests. Incompetence at a maximum level.
Concerning cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin Cash, it takes extra steps to reach a higher level of anonymity. It matters for the same reason.
Obfuscation mechanisms exist, yet some do not work properly. It all depends on the techniques used and multiple factors, while issues with some of these services surface occasionally.
Can we be certain of our privacy using privacy coins such as Monero and ZCash?
As users, we have to trust developers who audited the open-source code and concluded anonymity truly is strong in them. However, lets take a look at these issues and bugs of Monero, and lets think about what more could be there that is not public:
Some cryptocurrencies claim to have anonymity features, but the claims are refuted with time.
Bitcoin Cash provides pseudonymity on transactions. We are not completely anonymous when transacting with Bitcoin Cash, and the blockchain is transparent. Cashfusion creates a layer of obfuscation, increasing privacy.
Most blockchains are public and open to any researcher to interpret the route of funds, however, this is a difficult task to perform manually with a simple blockchain explorer.
Blockchain analytic tools exist, and can easily connect wallets. Still, most of these tools are not public and come with a cost. Note that I don't suggest downloading random analytics software from google searches, but DYOR if anyone absolutely needs such a tool, which usually comes at a cost as well.
Online privacy is common sense. Before Facebook, privacy was considered valuable, yet with the influx of billions of users, the websites they found were all invading privacy, as a rule, thus they probably believed this was the correct approach.
For those before the Facebook era, it wasn't, though. We value anonymity, since it gives us peace of mind, even when we know we can't achieve total anonymity.
Perhaps the users of the internet understand today better the issues that can be created, and of course, some have to sell their image and manage to make it a lucrative business.
Everyone has a plan, I guess even when this is just a need for acceptance by strangers online, not for the content we publish, the code we develop, or the creations we want to present, but for anything pointless as the physical appearance.
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