Nothing to Hide, but Something to Lose

University of Toronto Law Journal (2019 Forthcoming)

45 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2019

See all articles by Ignacio Cofone

Ignacio Cofone

McGill University Faculty of Law

Adriana Robertson

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Date Written: February 1, 2019

Abstract

“I have nothing to hide” is among the most common and controversial arguments against privacy. In this article, we challenge this argument on its own terms. To do so, we construct a mathematical model combining the standard economic argument – that only people with “something to hide” will value privacy – with a formal concept of intrinsic privacy preferences and show that the inclusion of this second dimension causes the standard argument to fail. We then apply 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 and Robertson, Adriana, Nothing to Hide, but Something to Lose (February 1, 2019). University of Toronto Law Journal (2019 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

Adriana Robertson

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.law.utoronto.ca/faculty-staff/full-time-faculty/adriana-robertson

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