Since I enjoy the discussion of privacy, especially with regards to the internet, and have serious concerns about the number of large corporations which now track every single page view of internet users, this article by Daniel J. Solove regarding surveillance is really compelling.
It focuses on the claim of surveillance advocates, “If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.” (P.S. Thanks to Bruce Schneier for the link.)
The argument goes like this: Government needs to tap phones, look at phone records, watch your public library book consumption in order to find the terrorists. If you are an honest, law-abiding citizen, then this invasion of your privacy should mean nothing.
Most surveillance advocates make the claim that invasion of privacy is no big deal. So, I thought I’d compile a list of my favorite one-liners as a retort to:
“If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.”
And the replies:
- “Great! Then you don’t mind if I circulate naked pictures of you around the neighborhood, right?”
- Really? Then I can install keystroke and screen recording software on your computer, and you wouldn’t mind, right?
- No kidding! Then video cameras in every room of your house would be like “nothing to hide,” right?
- How about this: Show me all of your bank account balances and your last 3 tax returns.
- Really? So, how often do you masturbate?
If you have any added retorts, I’d love to see them in the comments!