The wish to be anonymous in our dealings with private companies or governments, in commenting on the news or in daily life seems to be increasing.
For some, anonymity is an ironic response to the cult of celebrity that usually preoccupies us. For others, being anonymous enables us to reject the endless celebration of the individual that characterises our times and instead to find comfort and ease in the unidentifiable mass.
Frances Stonor Saunders examines if the desire for being unknown - whether by the NHS or your search engine - is set to be the new trend of our times.
She explores with those who use the cloak of anonymity - including whistleblowers, authors and medical practitioners - the benefits which concealing your identity can confer. But she also considers the dangers of not being identifiable and how these pitfalls may affect the rest of society.
Producer Simon Coates.