Privacy as Data Protection for the Individual

AdenBADN
10 min readMar 27, 2023

“If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to worry about.”

This lazy, outdated crutch seems to have been subconsciously fed to a large portion of the Western world to pacify and to explain away the need for concern over the surveillance of their own lives. Not only is it an inadequate device for fulfilling its intended purpose, but it’s also completely and provably untrue.

It’s a phrase most often repeated by those who are unconcerned to take even the most basic steps to protect their own privacy. It assumes that everyone’s lives must be as insubstantial or as inconsequential as theirs presumably are, as they can’t imagine, not even for the sake of discussion, that anyone could have any valid reason to want to protect their own privacy without being some kind of criminal or falling foul of acceptable social norms.

“Just because I don’t have anything to hide doesn’t mean I have everything to show.”

This article is an attempt at a general response to this attitude and all the claims made within it. For the sake of communication in good faith, I’ll give these people the benefit of the doubt here; maybe they genuinely can’t think of a single example of casual, everyday, non-criminal people requiring varying levels of privacy. After some consideration of this, here is a short list of examples I’ve put together:

1 — Personal exchanges with significant others, family members, etc. This also goes for heated discussions, disagreements or arguments you might be having where emotional influence is high, and, of course, “intimate exchanges”. A great deal of people wouldn’t want these intimate exchanges made public and to become the subject of scrutiny by their friends, families and co-workers. In that same vein, people often say a lot of things they don’t necessarily mean when they’re in the middle of an argument, or just things that would sound bad when taken out of context.

As Douglas Murray once pointed out, “it’s a kind of dystopian nightmare that someone would be forever known for their worst joke or for what they said at their lowest, crassest moment.”

As imperfect human beings, we often have to go through things in order to overcome them. This also goes for how we behave and communicate with…

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AdenBADN

Believe and Disbelieve Nothing. Philosophy. Technology. Unity. A futurist living in the present t.me/adenbadn / adenbadn@pm.me / buymeabeer.com/AdenBADN