I regularly listen to a podcast on computer security. A few weeks ago, the host shared a quote on privacy that was quite profound. Sharing here, because we do occasionally run into the argument, "I don't need privacy, I have nothing to hide..."
The source of the quote below may be a bit controversial, but try to evaluate it on the merit, no need for ad hominem distractions.
Security Now! Podcast Episode 529 (transcript), October 13, 2015, Steve Gibson.
Portion of transcript with pertinent quote:
But I saw something, a quote, that just hit me between the eyes, that Edward Snowden posted on Reddit about four months ago. And I want to share his whole statement from which one line is like, I think, just perfect. And this is regarding privacy. In my notes I called it "Another way to look at privacy." This is a whole, I'm not overly concerned about privacy because I have nothing to hide approach.
So Snowden wrote: "I think the central issue is to point out that, regardless of the results, the ends (preventing a crime) do not justify the means (violating the rights of the millions whose private records are unconstitutionally seized and analyzed).
"Some might say," wrote Snowden, "I don't care if they violate my privacy; I've got nothing to hide." Snowden says: "Help them understand that they are misunderstanding the fundamental nature of human rights. Nobody needs to justify why they need a right. The burden of justification falls on the one seeking to infringe upon the right. But even if they did, you can't give away the rights of others because they're not useful to you. More simply, the majority cannot vote away the natural rights of the minority."
And finally he said: "But even if they could, help them think for a moment about what they're saying." And this was the phrase that got me. "Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." So I just - that just hit me because the point being that I may not be concerned about privacy, but I absolutely know the world is full of people who are. And I won't have access to their honest thoughts and feelings and truth, and I'm interested in that, if they are muted because they don't feel they have the freedom to express themselves, because they're worried about the world that they're in from a privacy standpoint. So I thought that was a really great point. And so I wanted to share that.