Daniel Solove, one of the world’s leading experts in privacy law and a CiviliNation advisor, just published a new book called Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff Between Privacy and Security. In it he argues that the tension between privacy and security is based on the false views about what privacy protection means and its costs and benefits.
In Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have ‘Nothing to Hide’ in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Solove writes:
When the government gathers or analyzes personal information, many people say they’re not worried. “I’ve got nothing to hide,” they declare. “Only if you’re doing something wrong should you worry, and then you don’t deserve to keep it private.”….
In many cases, privacy issues never get balanced against conflicting interests, because courts, legislators, and others fail to recognize that privacy is implicated. People don’t acknowledge certain problems, because those problems don’t fit into a particular one-size-fits-all conception of privacy. Regardless of whether we call something a “privacy” problem, it still remains a problem, and problems shouldn’t be ignored. We should pay attention to all of the different problems that spark our desire to protect privacy….
Privacy is often threatened not by a single egregious act but by the slow accretion of a series of relatively minor acts….
Privacy is rarely lost in one fell swoop. It is usually eroded over time, little bits dissolving almost imperceptibly until we finally begin to notice how much is gone.
In his book, Solove also covers the USA-Patriot Act, government data mining, the NSA surveillance program, the Fourth Amendment Third Party Doctrine and the First Amendment. You can download a free copy of the first chapter of his book here and learn more about the book here.