Nothing to Hide

The False Tradeoff Between Privacy and Security


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Nothing to Hide

"If you've got nothing to hide," many people say, "you shouldn't worry about government surveillance." Others argue that we must sacrifice privacy for security. But as Daniel J. Solove argues in this important book, these arguments and many others are flawed. They are based on mistaken views about what it means to protect privacy and the costs and benefits of doing so. The debate between privacy and security has been framed incorrectly as a zero-sum game in which we are forced to choose between one value and the other. Why can't we have both? 

In this concise and accessible book, Solove exposes the fallacies of many pro-security arguments that have skewed law and policy to favor security at the expense of privacy. Protecting privacy isn't fatal to security measures; it merely involves adequate oversight and regulation. Solove traces the history of the privacy-security debate from the Revolution to the present day. He explains how the law protects privacy and examines concerns with new technologies. He then points out the failings of our current system and offers specific remedies. Nothing to Hide makes a powerful and compelling case for reaching a better balance between privacy and security and reveals why doing so is essential to protect our freedom and democracy.



“Daniel Solove takes on the two biggest challenges to privacy in the twenty-first century:  the rapid development of technology that gives the government the ability to track our decisions, choices, discussions, and movements in real time; and the threat of catastrophic terrorist attacks, which demand increased security measures.  In clear, measured prose, Solove shows how the law of privacy has failed us in addressing these twin challenges, and proposes an innovative way forward.”—David Cole, Georgetown University Law School

“The Information Age has turned our notions of privacy upside down.  Solove is our smartest thinker on what privacy means today, and "Nothing to Hide" definitely refutes old ideas about privacy and replaces them with ones that work in the world of data brokers, Facebook, and Wikileaks.  The debate will never be the same after this book.”—Bruce Schneier, author ofBeyond Fear

“Daniel Solove is one of America's leading experts on privacy law. In this engaging book, he explains why privacy is everyone's concern; it is a crucial social value that must be integrated into our national security policy rather than simply balanced against it.”—Jack M. Balkin, Yale Law School

"Bravo Daniel Solove! In Nothing to Hide he skillfully dispels many of the myths associated with the faulty zero-sum tradeoff between privacy vs. security. In exposing the flawed logic of having to forego one interest in order to secure another, Daniel Solove has done us all a great service."—Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario, Canada