How much should the government know about us citizens seems to be a hot topic here of late. Some folks, who seem very willing to trade liberty for perceived security, employ the I-Have-Nothing-To-Hide argument in defense of massive data collection on individuals. As our essayist points out, this is true until you ask them to show you their latest credit card bills or ask them to let you photograph them naked. For an interesting essay about "privacy," go here and read this. Excerpt here:
"The deeper problem with the nothing-to-hide argument is that it myopically views privacy as a form of secrecy. In contrast, understanding privacy as a plurality of related issues demonstrates that the disclosure of bad things is just one among many difficulties caused by government security measures. To return to my discussion of literary metaphors, the problems are not just Orwellian but Kafkaesque. Government information-gathering programs are problematic even if no information that people want to hide is uncovered. In The Trial, the problem is not inhibited behavior but rather a suffocating powerlessness and vulnerability created by the court system's use of personal data and its denial to the protagonist of any knowledge of or participation in the process. The harms are bureaucratic ones—indifference, error, abuse, frustration, and lack of transparency and accountability."