Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff between Privacy and Security
Daniel J. Solove
George Washington University Law School
May 1, 2011
Daniel J. Solove, NOTHING TO HIDE: THE FALSE TRADEOFF BETWEEN PRIVACY AND SECURITY, Chapter 1, Yale University Press, 2011
GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 571
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 571
"If you've got nothing to hide," many people say, "you shouldn't worry about government surveillance." Others argue that we must sacrifice privacy for security. But as Daniel J. Solove argues in this book, these arguments and many others are flawed. They are based on mistaken views about what it means to protect privacy and the costs and benefits of doing so.
In addition to attacking the "Nothing-to Hide Argument," Solove exposes the fallacies of pro-security arguments that have often been used to justify government surveillance and data mining. These arguments - such as the "Luddite Argument,"the "War-Powers Argument," the "All-or-Nothing Argument," the "Suspicionless-Searches Argument," the "Deference Argument," and the "Pendulum Argument" - have skewed law and policy to favor security at the expense of privacy.
The debate between privacy and security has been framed incorrectly as a zero-sum game in which we are forced to choose between one value and the other. But protecting privacy isn't fatal to security measures; it merely involves adequate oversight and regulation.
The primary focus of the book is on common pro-security arguments, but Solove also discusses concrete issues of law and technology, such as the Fourth Amendment Third Party Doctrine, the First Amendment, electronic surveillance statutes, the USA-Patriot Act, the NSA surveillance program, and government data mining.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: privacy, national security, Fourth Amendment, First Amendment, criminal procedure, surveillance, USA-Patriot Act, data mining
JEL Classification: D82, H56, O30
Date posted: May 11, 2011 ; Last revised: March 6, 2013