Personal Privacy

The “Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear” Privacy Mentality is Dangerous

The Infinite Brief
With the implementation of GDPR fast approaching and concerns over Facebook’s handling of private information, the debate around data ownership has suddenly burst into the public psyche.

In 2013, Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the US spy program he helped create with the release of classified surveillance documents. Among the documents released were the details of PRISM, an NSA program that collects internet communications data from US telecommunications companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook and Apple.

But despite all this, the age-old reprise; “if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear” often rings out in debates over privacy. The idea is so pervasive that politicians often lean on the phrase to justify ever more draconian methods of surveillance.

The trouble with indiscriminate surveillance is that you see everything, but paradoxically, still know nothing. Intelligence is the strategic collection of pertinent facts. Therefore, bulk data collection cannot be intelligent.

GDPR is a big step forward for individual consent, but will it stop corporations handing over your data to the government?

Originally posted on Behind the Browser

With Zuckerberg testifying to the US Congress over Facebook’s data privacy and the implementation of GDPR fast approaching, the debate around data ownership has suddenly burst into the public psyche. Collecting user data to serve targeted advertising in a free platform is one thing, harvesting the social graphs of people interacting with apps and using it to sway an election is somewhat worse.

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