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Discussion on: What common programming concept has the wrong name?

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earroyoron profile image
Ernesto λrroyo

Secret key is most used for simmetric schemas. I get your point, but I think using private-key is right.

The real epic-fail in cryptography is about the misused "certificate" term:

A certificate is just the public-key plus the proven subject (owner) of the certificate signed by a Certification Authority. The certificate has not the private key but we can find things like
"install the certificate in the web server to configure the TLS...." or "sign with a certificate"

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edwbuck profile image
Edwin Buck

Shared key and private key achieve the same goal, without stepping on the historical meaning of secret key.

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soatokdhole profile image
Soatok Dreamseeker

I get your point, but I think using private-key is right.

From A Cipherpunk's Manifesto by Eric Hughes (1993):

Privacy is necessary for an open society in the electronic age. Privacy is not secrecy. A private matter is something one doesn't want the whole world to know, but a secret matter is something one doesn't want anybody to know. Privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world.

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earroyoron profile image
Ernesto λrroyo

Yes but... I can be wrong, I am not english native,... but I think privacy and private are not related , they seem to be but are indeed different and unrelated concepts, this is, a private key is not "something for keeping privacy" but "something for keeping confidentiality or secrets"...
Not sure at all about these...

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soatokdhole profile image
Soatok Dreamseeker

I am not english native,... but I think privacy and private are not related

Private is an adjective, privacy is a noun, but they refer to the same thing.

A private matter is one that requires privacy.

A secret matter is one that requires secrecy.