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Its clearly mentioned in all the Webhelps:
- Only the table owner can alter privileges on it.
- Only the table owner can drop it or alter its definition; therefore, even if another user has been granted insert, update, and delete privileges on a dataset, that user cannot alter the schema.
- The dbo and db_owner roles will not appear in the User/Role list for SQL Server databases. These users automatically have full privileges on all data, and you cannot revoke those privileges.
To keep it simple,
The Select, Insert, Update, Delete granted at the database level are referred to as "Permissions" and provides the user the permission on all the data in that geodatabase.
Here is an image showing granting permissions to a user in a geodatabase (SQL Server--> Right-Click on the database in SQL Server Management Studio-->Properties):
The Select, Insert, Update, Delete granted at the Data level are referred to as "Privileges" and provides the user the mentioned privileges on that data only. So what we grant from ArcCatalog are basically Privileges on those data.