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If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide. Sounds simple right? I haven’t done anything wrong (well, maybe some things, but nothing serious), so I shouldn’t have anything to hide. Well I do. I have plenty to hide. I wear clothes, not just because it’s cold but for other reasons as well. I wear them to hide my body as society has decided that walking around naked is inappropriate. Sometimes I wear long sleeve shirts simply to hide my tattoos, not because I am ashamed of them, not because I regret them, but because in particular situations they may not be appropriate. Are clothes the only exception to when I can have something to hide and not have done anything wrong? Of course not. It would be absurd to assume otherwise. People hide emotions for various reasons, they hide documents to ensure their business survives, they hide plans and details to successfully arrange a surprise party, sometimes they hide information to make the world a safer place.
“Would you give me your username and password please?” Glenn Greenwald asked this on the TED stage, and in countless articles. He even set up a Gmail account specifically for people to send him their username and password. No one has. Should we be surprised by this? I don’t think so. We like our privacy, we always have. We live in houses with curtains or blinds, we build walls and fences to keep others out, we change the privacy settings on our Facebook accounts. We need privacy. It keeps us healthy, it keeps us sane.
It’s important to our well-being to be able to choose what to share, with whom, when, and how much. We value our privacy, we value our secrets. This does not mean they are bad, this does not mean that we have done something wrong. This means we are human.