It's really amazing that people still trot out the "if you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to hide" argument these days. The argument has been debunked so many times, there's even a scholarly paper debunking it
. However, it's still quite popular, especially among law enforcement types. So it's nice to see that some are trying to focus in on disproving this troubling claim
. Reporter Barton Gellman is apparently starting up a new blog (oddly, it's not at all clear where that blog is, or if it's just a sub-segment of an existing blog) to focus in on this issue. In the introductory post he summarizes the point nicely:
Everyone has something to hide. Privacy is relational. It depends on the audience. You don't want your employer to know you're job hunting. You don't spill all about your love life to your mom, or your kids. You don't tell trade secrets to your rivals. We don't expose ourselves indiscriminately, and we care enough about exposure to lie as a matter of course. Among upstanding citizens, researchers have consistently found that lying is "an everyday social interaction" (twice a day among college students, once a day in the Real World). Remember the disasters that befell Jim Carrey in that movie plot that left him magically unable to fib for even one day? Comprehensive transparency is a nightmare.