collective.pathkey was developed to situations where users have some content in Plone what they don't want to publish for the whole world to see, but still want to share it with a number of people who doesn't necessarily have an user account to the plone site. With collective.pathkey contents owner can set a pathkey for the folder/item and then share that with the people they want.

collective.pathkey is not a bullet proof solution and was never intended to be. It simply adds user specified password (pathkey) as a new property of given folder and adds a hook to AfterTraverseEvent to check if user is trying to access protected content and request the pathkey when needed.