Anonymity vs Confidentiality: Difference and Comparison

These both are related to the information. The information about someone’s identity is available or not.

Many people are quite sensitive about their presence. Mainly these words are commonly used in articles or case studies of criminal cases.

It is also seen in the names of the book writers. 

Mainly people take these words as synonyms. Thus, uses them for the same meaning while they both differ in meaning and are not synonyms (the words that have the same meaning).

Key Takeaways

  1. Anonymity refers to the state of being unknown or unnamed, while confidentiality refers to the act of keeping something secret or private.
  2. Anonymity is used to protect the identity of individuals, while confidentiality is used to protect information.
  3. Anonymity is commonly used in surveys, voting, and social media, while confidentiality is used in legal proceedings, medical records, and business transactions.

Anonymity vs Confidentiality 

The difference between Anonymity and Confidentiality is that the data or information about a person is not available in Anonymity, while in Confidentiality, the person’s data is kept secret. Some people are very sensitive regarding their identity and also don’t want a connection with the situation or data. Therefore, they keep their identity anonymous. In Confidential, the data is available, but the information is kept hidden because of several reasons.

Anonymity vs Confidentiality

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Anonymity is when the person doesn’t disclose their identity and doesn’t show any real connection with the situation. As many writers don’t show the necessity of using their real names in the books or articles, they publish.

They name their articles anonymous or nameless.

Confidentiality is for hidden information. They have a connection with the situation, but it is hidden.

The people who are closely related know the connection. We can also refer to it as that they hide their identity in public.

The writers who publish their only pen names, which are different from the real names, fall into this category. The publishers and editors know the true name and identity of such writers.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAnonymityConfidentiality 
MeaningAnonymity means keeping their personality hidden from everyone and not showing direct connections with the information.Confidentiality means keeping the data of the person hidden from the public.
ConnectionsThe connections are not direct.The connections are direct and known to the important people.
Main ReasonsAnonymity is a personal choice.Confidentiality is a professional obligation.
RelativityThe anonymous person doesn’t show any relation with the information or the data.In Confidentiality, the person shows a relation with the information or the data.
PoliciesIt is a personal decision. Thus, doesn’t have any legal policies.It is an agreement-based work and follows a legal procedure.
Type of ResearchesIt is mostly used in quantitative studies.It is mostly used in both quantitative and qualitative studies.
Data AcessThe public is not allowed to access the data.The unauthorized people are not allowed to access the data.
Examples If a person provides a piece of information about a crime using the mail with another name and doesn’t provide its real information then that person is called anonymous.If a person takes part in the survey then the name and other data of the person is kept confidential from others.

What is Anonymity?

Anonymity is used for the information in which the name of the provider is nameless. The reason behind being anonymous is that person is insecure about their personality.

Many personal reasons are attached to this. They never show direct connections with the data.

Even authorised people who provided the information don’t know about the data provider.

Many writers and spies keep their identities secret. The writers keep their stories, poems, or writing pieces nameless.

This anonymous took away the authority from the writer to claim it as his/her. Any person can take the data and name it as their own.

This also leads to legal disputes.

Anonymity is seen on the Radio when people talk about something or share their views. In these cases, many times, people are using the wrong names.

This is when the person, even after the involvement, doesn’t directly show their participation. Even in a Newspaper, many articles Anonymous writes show that they don’t know about the real writer of the article.


What is Confidentiality?

Confidentiality is the situation in which the data of the person is kept hidden from the public. The main reason behind keeping the identity Confidential can be either be requested by the person or of professional obligations.

They have direct connections with the information but are disclosed only before the main staff. 

Criminal cases or any sexual assault cases follow these policies. In these types of situations, to save the victims or witnesses from criticism or assault there, identity is hidden.

The officials who are involved with the case know the whole information. 

The radio and newspapers also have a Confidentiality policy to protect their sources. In sensitive information, they use the phrase “provided by our sources.”

This is the way by which they hide the identity of their source.


Main Differences Between Anonymity and Confidentiality

  1. Anonymity means the identity is hidden from everyone, and Confidentiality means hiding the identity from the public.
  2. Anonymity is because of personal reasons, and Confidentiality is a policy-based decision taken on professional obligations.
  3. Confidentiality involves the agreement, while Anonymity doesn’t.
  4. Qualitative and Quantitative research uses Confidentiality, while Anonymity is only used in Quantitative research.
  5. Anonymity doesn’t show the connections of the person with the situation, whereas Confidentiality has a hidden connection.
Difference Between Anonymity and Confidentiality

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