Nothing to Hide, but Something to Lose
70 University of Toronto Law Journal (2020)
45 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2019 Last revised: 24 Jun 2020
Date Written: February 1, 2019
“I have nothing to hide” is among the most common and controversial arguments against privacy. This article challenges the argument on its own terms. To do so, it constructs a model combining the standard economic argument – that only people with “something to hide” will value privacy – with a concept of intrinsic privacy preferences and shows that the inclusion of this second dimension causes the standard argument to fail. It then applies these insights to two legal contexts in which there are active policy debates: the protection of genetic information in the context of employer-provided health insurance and tax privacy.
Keywords: Privacy, Employment Law, Surveillance, Genetic Nondiscrimination, Tax Privacy, Law & Economics, Information Privacy
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