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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  ·  Rating details ·  142 ratings  ·  14 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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Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, politics
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
Roger Schmit
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book easy to read and understand, it was written for the general audiences enjoyment. Nonfiction and done well. It’s based a lot on the laws in the 1st and 4th amendments that protect, or should protect our rights to privacy and security of those rights. The misconceptions that most people including law enforcement and Government tend to have about those laws. He gives details to all the different forms of communication to include regular mail in an envelope to the newest technological ...more
John Carter McKnight
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned, unread
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
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-read
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.
Sam Osi
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Review of Solove’s Book on Privacy & Security
This book focuses on the argument that privacy does not have to be a direct tradeoff for security. Solove discusses the misconceptions that are present among the masses in our U.S society regarding privacy and security. He presents his views in contrast to other views, and argues for his points using the constitutional amendments, facts, and statistics. The book is really easy to read. It does not overwhelm the reader with political and
John Werronen
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nothing to Hide is a super fantastic, easy to read book about the argument between whether safety/security or privacy should be held in higher regard within society. The book examines the laws, government agencies and social concerns of the argument and how the argument plays out in each context. Solove’s approach in this book was perfect for someone like me who is not very well versed in the realm of the laws surrounding this issue.
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the
Ted Compton
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An eye-opening review of 4th Amendment protections for privacy in the internet age. And readable.
Jordan Mazur
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Easy read on hard topics.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Technology is moving forward at a lightning pace and policy is not keeping up.
Alexander Philavong
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
To give my background first, I am a Computer Science major and just recently finished a Computer Security course. There was a large topic of Privacy versus Security and what the difference was. The entire topic was a gray area which is why I pursued to read a book like this. The author stated in the very beginning that he wanted to be informative since there wasn't many good resources to explain the difference between privacy and security. He did a great job on providing strong arguments and ...more
Dec 20, 2013 added it
Shelves: 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
Oct 16, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Alex Reinhart
Jun 07, 2013 rated it liked it
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
James Hanson
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
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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Daniel J. Solove is associate professor, George Washington University Law School, and an internationally known expert in privacy law. He is frequently interviewed and featured in media broadcasts and articles. He lives in Washington, D.C., and blogs at the popular law blog
“Martin Luther King, Jr., whom Hoover had under extensive surveillance. FBI recordings revealed that King was having extramarital affairs, and the FBI sent copies of the recordings to King and his wife, threatening that if King failed to commit suicide by a certain date, the recordings would be released publicly.” 0 likes
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