Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff between Privacy and Security
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Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff between Privacy and Security

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  47 ratings  ·  8 reviews
"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...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 31st 2011 by Yale University Press
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John Carter McKnight
Solove is one of the best scholars of American privacy law, and does a great public service in writing for a broad range of audiences, from practitioner to scholar to citizen.

Nothing To Hide is a good overview of arguments for privacy protections against the national security state, and for some audiences it's probably a wonderful book.

It reads like it's written at the 5th grade level, however, and the very simple sentences grate horribly after a while. I found the book generally too basic to b...more
Solove offers a balanced discussion of the supposed conflicts between security and privacy. A theme running throughout is a dismantling of the notions that privacy = secrecy and that privacy is of only personal and not societal interest. The latter argument has been used by the government, and often affirmed by the courts, as a means of denying standing to those who would sue to force changes in government surveillance of citizens.

Though Solove mentions some of the abuses of the state secrets cl...more
Hans de Zwart
Solove's book is very readable overview of privacy, security and the law. He clearly show what protections the first and fourth amendments give you and suggest ways if improving the current situation.

Even though the book is completely focused on laws in the United States I think his three basic principles for regulating privacy and security are valid anywhere: minimize gathering and use, particularized suspicion and oversight.

His questions to ask about any security measure we want to implement a...more
Betsy Doyle
This book clearly and concisely describes the arguments surrounding privacy versus security, and effectively makes the case that the United States should not, nor does it need to, abandon its values to be secure. His arguments are the perfect shield against the onslaught of all-or-nothing thinking about security or privacy. I highly recommend this book.
Dec 27, 2013 Zhuoshi added it
Shelves: 2013, school
It was immensely refreshing to read an argumentative non-fiction book. I don't remember the last time I did that--or did I ever? Anyway, I read picked this up because it was a winter reading requirement for one of my courses, and I'm surprised how interesting it was. Normally I'm not very keen on the whole privacy and security debate, but Solove's writing was so concise, engaging, and full of insight that I didn't find this book much of a chore. Since the course that I'll be taking will revolve...more
Alex R
Solove raises many interesting points about privacy and the need for oversight of government surveillance and subpoena powers, but fails to discuss the issues in any great depth. Opposing views are given a paragraph or two of explanation and then rebutted with one or two more, rather than being analyzed in any detail.

It seems like Solove intended for this book to be read by a much wider audience than his usual writings (such as law review articles) and hence simplified the writing and omitted de...more
Solove provides an engaging, superficial overview of some of the main arguments in the contemporary privacy vs. security debate. He shows how the 4th Amendment provides scant privacy protection, and argues that the 1st Amendment should become part of criminal procedure to help restore a healthier balance between privacy and security.

The initial chapters highlight what Solove sees as the flawed primary arguments in the privacy vs. security debate. This section is somewhat unsatisfying, all the m...more
James Hanson
Very topical book in light of recent headlines. Solove is technically excellent but slightly awkward in writing style. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is frustrated by recent events, but not sure about the context of possible alternatives.
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