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For example,

I could use these html entities to encode purchase data,

<a href="&#x23;"><input type="&#x62;&#x75;&#x74;&#x74;&#x6F;&#x6E;" value="&#x50;&#x75;&#x72;&#x63;&#x68;&#x61;&#x73;&#x65;"></a>

Instead of this decoded html

<a href="http://127.0.0.1"><input type="button" value="Purchase"></a>
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  • $\begingroup$ Ask this question to yourself: are they invented for cryptographic purposes at all? $\endgroup$ – DannyNiu Mar 1 '18 at 14:32
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No, it is an encoding.

The mapping from HTML entities to letters is public, so this does not constitute encryption.

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    $\begingroup$ Encoding can easily be distinguished from encryption: if it doesn't use a key its encoding, if it does it could be encryption (it could also be keyed hashing etc.). There are some insecure in-betweens: ROT-13 can be thought of as the classical Caesar cipher with the key embedded in the algorithm name. $\endgroup$ – Maarten Bodewes Feb 28 '18 at 10:48
  • $\begingroup$ @Maarten Bodewes: That's actually encryption with the key published by the W3C; therefore that's public key encryption, with the private key the rationale :-) $\endgroup$ – fgrieu Feb 28 '18 at 13:42

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