"I Have Nothing To Hide" - by Zayd

By: Zayd

In a world of constant data breaches, password leaks and identify theft, people are concerned about their privacy than ever before. Yet there are some people who don't care that the government spies on people. So many giant corporations track users and keep your data on their own servers.

You may think that you have delete your presence from the web, but you are very mistaken. On March 17 last year a company called, "Cambridge Analytica", had stolen data from fifty million Facebook users. Yet with all this information, many people choose to resort to the classic argument, "I have nothing to hide.”

This infamous and popular response to privacy is very flawed. The nothing to hide argument stats that many stat run surveillance programs do not threaten people's privacy unless they are doing something illegal and if such individual is committing crimes then they do not have the right to privacy.

This argument is everywhere. In the United Kingdom, for example, the government installed millions of surveillance cameras and it was advertised with the motto. "If you have got nothing to hide, you have got nothing to fear.” The, "I have nothing to hide" argument implies many things such as, it encourages the false pretence of complete trust in state run powers and that you will never face wrongful suspicion, for only guilty people are effected by mass surveillance.

It makes people embrace their own innocence and not to look how people are treated or targeted by surveillance. Also, told that nothing to hide implies that you have nothing to fear. It introduces the threat that maybe, if you have not behaved, you do have something to fear.

People need privacy in order to do their work without fear of being spied on or targeted from opposition. Members of Parliament require privacy when they meet people who share personal stories or try to challenge the actions of the government. Recently, it was revealed in The Guardian that Members of Parliaments calls with prison staff were recorded and monitored.

Privacy is needed for women who are being stalked or being tracked by abusive partners. This has become such a problem that the Women's Aid had a great guide on hiding your tracks online on its website. The Muslim community has routinely faced harassment and Islamophobia. Doctors and their patients expect confidentiality when they are discussing personal health. The most at risk people from surveillance are journalists who are most likely tracked by governments because of their criticism the police and government.

State run surveillance affects everyone who wants and needs privacy. Maybe you are on the list I mentioned or you know some you who are. People have something to hide whether you know it or not. Think about today, did you see someone to have sex even though you are married? Sent nudes to someone? You want these things to remain private, right? That is one hundred percent okay.

Privacy is a key aspect of your life and it always will be. We live in the twenty first century where technology is king. Most of the world is online, connecting, sharing their lives to the world. Some people say that only criminals or terrorists desire privacy. This implies everyone is worthy of suspicion and even wore that we may be criminals or terrorists. It is innocent until proven guilty, not vice versa.

In the past privacy was easy to have. Today governments can track you with a few clicks and keystrokes. We are making it easy of the likes of the National Security Agency to track us as we have a smart phone which nearly almost of our private information. We also have phone companies trying to track us by pining out records for real time customer data.

Also leaders want technology giants such as, Apple and Google to weaken encryption and provide backdoors for easy government access. Facebook and Google collect enough data to make your jaw drop. We also have websites being hacked such as Ashley Madison. Uber exposed fifty thousand drivers personal information in a security breach.

Still think you have nothing to hide? Whistle-blower Edward Snowden has said that, "Arguing that you do not care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you do not care about free speech because you have nothing to say."

Privacy is a fundamental right among the public. I personally believe that everyone should have private access to the web where they can express themselves, share memories and learn new things without the worry being tracked. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 12, it states that,

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon is honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks."

This quote shows that privacy is your right, saying that you have nothing hide, you are advocating to be stripped of your right. Do you really want your right to be taken from you and live in a dictatorship? Surveillance is becoming more and more common as technology evolves. The more surveillance, the more chance you lose your right to privacy. You will begin to notice your privacy more when it is taken away from you.

Instead of saying, "I have nothing to hide", we should instead say, I have nothing to hide and my private business in none of yours. Answer me this, if you have nothing to hide, why is your right to privacy being constantly violated?

Most often "nothing to hide" simply means, "I'm not doing anything illegal." Journalist Glenn Greenwald says to the people who say that they have nothing to hide, “I always say the same thing to them,” said Greenwald. “I write down my email address and I say, ‘Email me the passwords to all of your email accounts. I want to read what I want to read and publish whatever I find interesting. After all, if you’re not a bad person, you should have nothing to hide.” Not one person has taken him up on this proposition

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