The I have Nothing To Hide Argument Is Flawed

In 2020 we are as a collective more concerned about our privacy and data than we have ever been before. Although some folks still use the “I have nothing to hide” argument. People have started to realise that not having our data safeguarded and used appropriately is a complete abuse of us as a consumer.

In the European Union, we have “Convention 108” which was the first legally binding, international instrument in the data protection field. This eventually gave birth to the controversial “General Data Protection Act“. Whilst the United States doesn’t have a specific information privacy laws, they do have lots of different laws that all sort of combine together at both state and federal level. The most noteworthy state law is definitely the one in California thanks to that being the home of Silicon Valley which is where most of the major American tech companies reside, including the two which are most notorious for abusing user data (Google and Facebook.)


Snowdens Impact

More shockingly, leaked by Edward Snowden who worked across multiple intelligence agencies across the US. That the United States Government has direct access to American citizens emails, phone calls and all other communications means far more than what is morally allowed in the constitution. Hate him, or love him; the fact of the matter is that Snowden revealed the fact that the united states is actively monitoring what you do. Including who you speak to and what you say.They do this under the guise that it is necessary for your protection against foreign dangers such as terrorism. It is widely believed that the government was doing some form of this before the 911 attacks. After this tragedy happened they just increased the extent they do this. It is extremely important that the governments of the world take an active approach to safeguard us against the people who seek to inflict immense suffering and sorrow upon us. I stand by the fact that they need to do this responsibly and selflessly. This is not how they are doing it at this moment in time.Despite the fact it is a well-known fact that our privacy is getting abused on a day to day basis. Not only by these greedy corporations but also by the people who are meant to do everything in their power to help and care for the people they are in charge of. There are STILL people who simply don’t know, or worse don’t care and hide behind the cover of an incredibly short-sighted phrase.

So what? I have nothing to hide. They can look through my stuff if they want.

The Free Speech Argument

This is the point that is made by Edward Snowden in the debate of complete privacy for users. He argues that by saying that because you have nothing to hide then you wouldn’t care about people going through your devices. Well then you might as well say that you don’t believe in free speech. you don’t really believe in it because you don’t have anything useful to say.


Look, I’m sure that everyone in the world will agree with the fact that free speech is something that every human on this planet has a basic right too. Yes, it does mean that some people will voice opinions that are destructive and in our eyes wrong. That is something we have come to accept as a reality, but we wouldn’t revoke the right of free speech because of a few horrible people.

This same idea should translate to our right to a private life, just because you are comfortable to show everyone what you have on your phone doesn’t mean that the government should then have the right to look through everyone else’s devices too. That just isn’t right. Likewise, just because there are people who are hiding destructive things that the people in charge should ultimately know about doesn’t suddenly mean they should allow the police to check EVERYONE.

It Isn’t About Hiding

This is a short point, but an important one to make. Privacy isn’t about you hiding anything. It’s is about protecting your basic human right. It is important for our human rights to be safe and for us as people to be respected by those in charge.At the end of the day, the people that are in charge of us are just that. People. The Mayor, the chief of police, the head of the NSA, a high up member of the MI6. Although they are in positions of power they are ultimately just like me and you. Even if they didn’t have anything to hide they probably wouldn’t like us looking through their data. So what gives them the right to do exactly that to us? Let’s work with the idea that these people are genuinely morally upstanding people who mean no harm. They only use the tools to genuinely stop threats such as terrorism. Great. What about the people after them? They’re not in power forever.We have people like Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping in charge. Who says that someone similar won’t secure power in the UK or US or any other place where our privacy gets tread on. The next Hitler so to speak. If that next Hitler had those tools that would’ve been set up by his predecessors it would be potentially catastrophic.
President Xi JinpingChinas leader Xi Jinping

We Know You’re Not A Terrorist

Let’s be honest. You’re probably not a terrorist. I certainly hope not anyway. We also know, that you probably aren’t committing many serious crimes such as Scamming. Just because you’re not a terrorist doesn’t suddenly mean you should be comfortable with the prospect that people have access to your personal information. At the end of the day, as stated previously people are people. It doesn’t matter what their occupation is, they’re still people who have the same biological hardware as me and you. What gives them to right to be able to go through our stuff? Especially if there was no action by you beforehand to warrant such an intrusion. Would you be happy if the police stormed your home on the off chance that you may or may not be a weapons dealer? I reckon your answer there is probably no. So why is it okay for them to do exactly that to your personal devices?

We just don’t notice it being done, so we don’t care.

One of the reasons people don’t scream and shout about this infringement on our basic human rights is because it doesn’t inconvenience the person which it is happening too. Thanks to this, these peoples continue living their lives in ignorance and simply are oblivious to the facts.

We’ve just become desensitised as a nation to these things.

You have nothing to hide, so who cares if your neighbour goes through your messages right? You have nothing to hide, so how about you leak all the photos you’ve sent to people? We have a right to chose what we want to show people, it is immoral for the people in charge to secretly force their way into our devices and lives to try and find something that could potentially use against us.

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