A little practical experiment:
I was listening to a podcast by Bruce Schneier the other day on the topic of privacy. I found his speaking to be a little less powerful than his blog. However, although I didn’t always agree with his proposed economic or legal solutions to problems, primarily because we have a differing political perspective, he is good at explaining security principles and how they apply to real life.
If you’re like me, when discussing privacy with people, you sometimes get frustrated by people who use the mantra ‘What are you scared of? I have nothing to hide.’, or some variation. I find this a hard argument to win. Bruce gave a simple reply which I’m betting is 90% effective.
If you genuinely feel you’ve got nothing to hide, please append your salary and your name as a comment to this posting. If you don’t (and I suspect you won’t), it probably means you have something to hide. This doesn’t mean you are a bad person. It doesn’t mean you’ve committed a crime. It just means you have good reasons not to fully disclose everything about your life. This is what privacy is about, and is why some people get upset when it’s taken away.