Nothing to Hide, but Something to Lose

University of Toronto Law Journal (Forthcoming)

45 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2019 Last revised: 24 Jul 2019

See all articles by Ignacio Cofone

Ignacio Cofone

McGill University Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 1, 2019

Abstract

“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

Suggested Citation

Cofone, Ignacio, Nothing to Hide, but Something to Lose (February 1, 2019). University of Toronto Law Journal (Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3327646

Ignacio Cofone (Contact Author)

McGill University Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.ignaciocofone.com

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