5 Reasons Why ‘I Have Nothing to Hide’ Is the Wrong Way to Think About Surveillance and Privacy


digital surveillance in the digital age

You Won’t Always Know When You Have Something to Hide

The unfortunate reality is that most people won’t actually know that they should have something to hide. Whether it’s a law they don’t know about or an ongoing investigation that people have no idea they are a suspect for, the mentality of “I have nothing to hide” can often lead people to incriminate themselves even when they are innocent. As Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer once explained, according to Wired, “The complexity of modern federal criminal law, codified in several thousand sections of the United States Code and the virtually infinite variety of factual circumstances that might trigger an investigation into a possible violation of the law, make it difficult for anyone to know, in advance, just when a particular set of statements might later appear (to a prosecutor) to be relevant to some such investigation.”

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