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Opinion: "Nothing To Hide" Argument Flawed

PRIVACY

June 2, 2011

The argument that "Only if you're doing something wrong should you worry, and then you don't deserve to keep it private," stems from faulty assumptions about privacy and its value, writes Daniel Solove in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Privacy can't be reduced to one simple idea, and people, courts and legislators often have trouble acknowledging certain privacy problems because they don't fit into a "one-size-fits-all conception of privacy," Solove writes. The "nothing to hide" argument assumes that privacy is about hiding bad things, without taking into consideration the freedoms privacy infringements erode, such as free speech and association. "In the end, the nothing to hide argument...has nothing to say," Solove says.
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