Privacy and “Nothing To Hide” Arguement

Whenever I express my horror at government actions or policies that infringe on people’s rights, nearly ALL of my friends and family respond with “I’m not concerned, I have nothing to hide!”. I always have a hard time explaining why this argument isn’t valid. If you don’t value your privacy and if you don’t understand that privacy equals freedom, then what can I say?

Most people if you ask them whether they use curtains, or wear clothes, or if you can see their bank statements for the past year will suddenly have something worth hiding. But maybe they trust the government more than their own friends and family.

I can’t make the pro-privacy argument with the same eloquence as Professor Daniel Solove, in his essay: “I’ve Got Nothing to Hide” and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy (PDF). This is an interesting and important read. Check it out.