An Important Update

Dear Followers Of This Blog ...

If you did not use a Blogger / Google account when you Followed this blog, years ago, you are probably not Following now . During the past...

Friday, January 29, 2010

Privacy Has Limitations

If you own a computer, and use it where there are other people - maybe in your home or office - you may setup your computer so certain files can only be read and / or updated by you.

Maybe you decide just you and one other person - or you and a select number of other people - should share access. That's your decision, and one of the features of Windows Networking and similar file sharing protocols is the ability to have and to maintain private files and folders.

Built in to Microsoft Windows, and other network operating systems (aka "NOS"), is the process of "authentication" and "authorisation" - that is, "Who are you?" and "Should you be doing this?". A major portion of any NOS does just that, constantly.

There is no similar feature in the Internet, using HTTP (or HTTPS).

As originally designed, all Internet content is published to be accessible to everybody, equally.

No browser or Internet server provides authentication and authorisation, to the same level of detail that is provided by an NOS. Any concept of "private" content, and / or Internet "security" is provided at different, and seldom equal, levels of detail.

These are details which are not understood by everybody.
I have a private blog. People who are not members of my blog are reading, and leaving comments.
or
Why do I see my private blog mentioned in search pages?
or
Why can't I make some portions of my blog public, and other portions private?
or
Why do I have people reading my blog, who I did not invite to read my blog?

And similar questions show that people don't understand how well NOSses do their job, and how well similar (but never equal) Internet functions will never do so.

On the Internet (in general), and in Blogger blogging (in particular)
  • Blogs that are made private won't be so, immediately. Blogs that were public, for a while, have cached content which won't disappear, immediately.
  • Blogger lets us have private blogs. Blogs made private by Blogger aren't as granular as protected content in an NOS.
  • A private blog may not be closed to search engine spiders. A blog that's closed to search engine spiders may not be private.
  • If you have a problem with a Private blog, we can't view the blog, or use any online diagnostic utilities, to look for problems.
So enjoy your Private blog, if you like - but be aware of the limitations and problems, which will be your responsibility.

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