The statement “I have nothing to hide” is very popular. But recently reversing this statement has also become very popular: “Give me your bank account login, your email login, your Facebook login.” Most people refuse this instantly, and for a good reason: Everybody has something to hide. To convince everybody – once and for all – let’s take a deep dive into why privacy matters and how everybody can protect their private data easily.
Privacy Is a Basic Human Right
Privacy online and offline is a basic human right not because we have something to hide, but because it protects al people whether they have something to hide today. You don’t want your neighbor to spy on you, so why should a government or an Internet service be allowed to see and use your data for their own purposes?
Privacy Protects Minorities
Many governments already spy on their citizens to prevent political opposition. Even politicians in Western democracies are increasingly in favor of online surveillance, falsely claiming that this would protect us from terrorist attacks. This is a worrisome development as the right to privacy is crucial when it comes to protecting people with oppositional political views. Autocratic systems around the world show us how dangerous it is to give up our right to privacy – not only for the people affected, but also for a society as a whole: When self-censorship becomes the norm, a true dispute – essential to any democracy – becomes impossible.
Privacy Saves You Money
Companies use your data to show you personalized advertisements. Some people even say they like seeing ads they are interested in, but this form of advertisement is not just invasive, it is also very costly: From online tracking the advertisements company knows exactly what you are looking for, and they