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Nothing to hide argument 🌿



“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.”

-Edward Snowden

why “i have nothing to hide” isn’t enough. it’s nowhere near enough.


because, by allowing tracking, you can be giving up way more information than you think! some examples:

  • who you sleep with because both you and the person you share your bed with keep your phones nearby. [1]
  • whether you sleep soundly at night or whether your troubles are keeping you up. [1]
  • whether you pick up your phone in the middle of the night and search for things like “loan repayment”. [1]
  • your IQ based on the pages you “like” on Facebook and the friends you have. [1]
  • your restaurant visits and shopping habits. [1]
  • how fast you drive, even if you don’t have a smart car, because your phone contains an accelerometer / GPS. [1]
  • your life expectancy based on how fast you walk, as measured by your phone. [1]
  • whether you suffer from depression by how you slide your finger across your phone’s screen. [1]
  • if your spouse is considering leaving you because she’s been searching online for a divorce lawyer. [1]



(Bunch of comments about it here.)


“I don’t need privacy because my actions are questionable, but because your judgment is”

Nothing to hide is an incomplete sentence. Nothing to hide from who? Surly you want to hide your children from abusers and predators? Don’t you want to hide your banking details from con artists and fraudsters? Your identity from identity thieves.. Your location from burglars, your car keys from car thieves or your blood type from some rich mobsters with kidney problems…

We don’t know who are any of these things. So we should protect ourselves from all of them, in effect we have everything to hide from someone, and no idea who someone is.

I tend to go into a different direction: “Sure, you don’t have anything to hide today. But what about tomorrow? Or next year? Did you know that law enforcement and justice can request and will try to gain access to data you share with any company?”

“Oh, but I have done nothing wrong.”

“The definition of ‘nothing wrong’ isn’t set in stone. It’s always up for interpretation. You might feel you’re doing nothing wrong, but that doesn’t mean authorities will always see it that way. Plus what is legal now might not be legal in the future.”