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What Is a Blind Certificate?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 20 September 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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When one computer accesses information from another, a certificate is normally required to verify the computer’s owner. This keeps the system safe and allows administrators to pin blame on the appropriate user if he or she attempts to misuse information. In the case of a blind certificate, the system is unable to capture private information such as the name or address of the user. While a blind certificate is not as good for safety reasons for an administrator, it is safer for users who are making money transactions, because the administrator will be unable to misuse the customer’s information. These certificates only record system information, such as what type of Internet browser the user has on, and his or her Internet protocol (IP) address.

Normally when a user performs a data transaction, or when he or she accesses another system and uses or takes information from it, a digital certificate is created. This certificate is used to capture identifying information about the user, such as his or her name, so administrators know who is gaining access to the system. This is considered general protocol for most safe systems, whether they are open to the public or just to a small network of workers.

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When a blind certificate is enabled, the certificate system functions differently. The administrator will be able to see that someone accessed the system and at what time the user entered the system, but all identifying information will be blocked. Private information, such as a name and address, will not be included in a blind certificate.

There will be some information that the administrator can use to differentiate users if a blind certificate is enabled. The IP address and system information normally will be included in the certificate. Some of the common data on these certificates are operating system (OS), what type of Internet browser the user is working with, and when the certificate was generated. This keeps the system safe, because the administrator can still single out a user for misuse of information, though it does make it more difficult to tell one user from another.

The reason for using a blind certificate is generally limited to privacy in money transactions. In this instance, the system itself is able to differentiate users to help them quickly get through continuous transactions, but that private information is not included in the certificate. This means unscrupulous administrators are not able to take advantage of the information and perform fraudulent charges, nor are they able to sell the user’s information.

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