Privacy and Anonymity: Not Merely for Society’s Undesirables

Categories Community Update

Privacy Closer to Home

Quite often, when talking about privacy and anonymity, people respond with “I have nothing to hide”. “I am not a drug dealer or other criminal”. These are fair statements in many cases. However, looking beyond the greater scope of suppression and censorship which is rampant in certain countries, there are definitely uses for anonymity and true privacy closer to home.

Last week, after a few tweets, we have engaged in talks with Operation: Safe Escape (O:SE). They help people that are stuck in domestic violence situations and wish to remove themselves from those situations. This is never an easy step.

 After we have been given some stories from the field, we started brainstorming amongst each other. As we had already suspected, there are a lot of overlaps between what the ODIN Blockchain is trying to achieve with our messenger, and what their demographic needs.

 “Secure communication tools like yours are extremely valuable to certain users, and they do what they do very well. The fatal flaw that they have, for people impacted by domestic violence at least, is that they tend to assume that the user has a degree of autonomy- that they’re free to keep secrets or control their own device.”

~ Chris Cox, Executive Director, Operation: Safe Escape

True Privacy is a Necessity

Please imagine the following situation: You live under the same roof with someone you once trusted. This person has now turned abusive and controlling and dictates what you are and are not allowed to do.

You are not allowed to go outside beyond when it is necessary. You are not allowed to communicate with your friends or even your own relatives. When you are caught in doing so, you are punished, among other ways, by having your one method of communications taken away. In fact, this is a common measure taken when you have “broken the rules”.

This isolation is damning. And it is very hard to establish communications with your support network like this. Some people in such a situation actually share the same mobile device with their adversaries. This is where true, direct privacy becomes a necessity. Having an application that allows you to communicate on a telephone that the adversary is using on a daily basis, often leads to a more volatile situation.

After we have been given some stories from the field, we started brainstorming amongst each other. As we had already suspected, there are a lot of overlaps between what the ODIN Blockchain is trying to achieve with our messenger, and what their demographic needs.

“O:SE do amazing work, and ODIN is proud to be able to look at providing innovative blockchain solutions for their audience, whilst highlighting the importance of privacy and anonymity to everyday people.”

~ Peter McClory, CEO, ODIN Blockchain

Involving O:SE in the development of our application ensures unique insights that aid us in providing the utmost privacy and protection, on a micro scale level. The use of these features will not only be limited in its use to their audience. They will also help us improve the general feature list for the greater audience we are aiming towards with the greater scope of our project.

When our first MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is released, we will look to evolve our symbiotic relationship with O:SE and other organizations whose users benefit from ODIN technologies.