When people say they have nothing to hide, let's reply:

* Post your passwords here
* Write down everybody you hate
* Tell the world who you voted for
* List all the videos you watched

- Medical history.
- Sensitive conversations with employers, children, spouses.
- Billing and banking information.
- Purchase information.
- Web search history.
And more...

I need privacy. Not because my actions are questionable, but because 'your' judgement and intentions are.

And it doesn't matter whether or not my communications are weighty or frivolous in nature - they are mine and only for those whom I've chosen to share them with. Not the government's, nor goog's, nor my ISP's, but mine.

Also, what is legal where I live today, may not be legal tomorrow and my discussion of it may incriminate my future self. It has happened in the past many times to others in other places.

@gemlog EXCELLENT.

All information is subject to abuse and misuse. Companies co-operate with each other more than ever as mutual partners to try trap people (we are their 'market').

Their judgement and intentions are questionable and for-profit.

Picture is an alternate version
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I have nothing to hide.

I also have nothing to show.

I am an indeterminate quantum state, and you will not collapse my waveform that easily!

@publius Trust me publius - I don't want to see your hide! :-)

@gemlog An extreme but real example of data collected being used against people later: in the Netherlands, each town has a registry of all its residents and a bit of relevant data about them. Back in the 1930's, that included religion. The Nazis used those books to round up 99% of all Jewish people in the country

@trebach These days you could just buy (or demand) the info from fb or a bunch of other places.

@trebach @gemlog

That is an excellent way to put this, no one knows who is going to be in power in years to come.

Hence the GDPR can only gather the info needed and for as long as is needed.

The latter is probably contentious, but under the GDPR we do have the right to know what data people have about us, so that we ca also check for accuracy and get it updated. I am sure the same act also allows data to be removed.

clearly an employer may keep data on us for as long as we work for them, plus a bit longer.

Also, some of us live in countries without protections like the GDPR - like those in the americas...

@gemlog Recently I had little success explaining this. Their reply:
1. No one is interested in my information because I'm nobody.
2. Digital privacy is not the same as physical privacy. I won't sleep with my door open wide because I don't want to be killed, but phones don't kill.
3. If things get worse and I'm judged in the future, I can easily retract myself to survive, I have great social skills. But trying to protect my personal information in advance would make me so sad and paranoid.

@gemlog I saw that privacy is more of a minor ethical issue than a top practical one for most people. Since ethics hurt there's no incentive at all to fully understand, and even if they understand, cognitive biases are strong. So I felt as a vegan discussing of the bad taste of a steak with people that loved that taste instead of being able to address real issues. People just don't want to listen.

@gemlog I'm interested in how privacy rights can be presented to people in informal conversation. I didn't find the way yet. The reason is that people want to be happy.

@fudguy Those objections assume there are only two kinds of people.
However, there are people who will listen, people who have listened and need more information and those who are teetering on the edge - and a bunch in between.
And, really, I'm not their keeper, but I do need them to lean toward candidates that are privacy aware. Or even just to sign a one-click petition. Enter into conversation with their friends.
No sense just throwing my hands up. I engage people in the town, at work and online in a bunch of different issues.

@fudguy @gemlog Tell them that health insurrers would like to know more about a nobody's eating habbits so that nobody would have to pay more for their insurrsnce

@fudguy @gemlog My response to that:

  1. As much as you’d like to think you’re nobody, you’re not. Nobody is nobody.
  2. So they’re saying I could walk right in and watch them sleep, just as long as I don’t kill them? Doubt it.
  3. Try telling that to the Jews in nazi germany. Yeah it’s an extreme example, but that doesn’t make it any less relevant. “I have great social skills, I can easily retract myself.” Uh… what? 😂

As someone who is increasingly protective of my privacy and my personal information, and simultaneously increasingly happy, I doubt there’s a correlation between concern of privacy and overall happiness. Deleting Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and all the other social media platforms (with the exception of There’s Life) was probably the best decision I could’ve ever made, both for my mental health and my privacy.

@fudguy @gemlog Mastodon for iOS did not preserve my formatting whatsoever, and now this is a pain to read. 😖

@gemlog Privacy associates two different aspects and making that difference is important to the discussion:
-"videos your watched" is linked to the "judgement of others" and when people say they "have nothing to hide", they actually mean they don't fear the judgement of others, they are "good" members of their group
-"passwords", in particular the one to your bank account, means property. Everyone agrees that this is private for obvious reasons.

@gemlog Therefore, this second aspect (property) is the one to use to convince people that privacy is important. The same people who will say that "they have nothing to hide", because they want to distance themselves from being susceptible to the "judgement of others", will instantly change their mind when told they need to keep their bank details private.

@gemlog We should also not forget that the first aspect is much older than the Internet. In small communities in particular, it was always expected that members live an open life and subject themselves to the judgement of others. It was and still is a form of social control. The aspect is so profoundly ingrained in most people that it is futile to try to change their mind directly.

@dl2jml You make an excellent point drawing that distinction.
WRT the "judgement of others", this can change over time. For example, or, as @trebach noted, the far more chilling use of religious registries in holland by the german nazis. Both were legal, well-known behaviours - until they suddenly weren't legal.

@gemlog @dl2jml @trebach
Totally unacceptable. Now we are in 2022, these attitudes are being taken up by some EU countries and of course, the UK will as usual follow the US 🤨

@anniemo71 but canada will be tripping over itself to follow first... @dl2jml @trebach

@dl2jml @gemlog when i was more naïve, i used to reply to ideas like that with "okay, but i am not afraid of the government knowing my passwords, what are they going to do, steal money from my credit cards or something?"

which (1) implies intelligence service operatives all only do their jobs and never personally abuse their capabilities (and that's already been disproven with stories of NSA agents using PRISM to spy on their loved ones)

(2) implies information collected by these services will never leak into the hands of people with different intentions (which has not happened yet, but with cyberattacks becoming more and more intricate, the risk of this increases. imagine how much havoc a rival nation can cause if they hack into your nation's intelligence services and dump even a portion of personal sensitive info about your nation's citizens. and corporate data leaks already happen lots of times.)

As a guy with two passports from Five Eye countries, that's a scary thought!

@dl2jml @gemlog make sure that they understans that they should fearvthe judgement of others. We're all tiny little perverts somewhere in our lives, some are just better at hiding that than others

@gemlog @condret That never works. They already fear the judgement of others. They just want to project that facade of openness to convince others that they don't.


Well I'll comply with the 2nd item.


I hate everybody.

Except a few of you. (You know who you are.)

@gemlog: i think the "i don't have something to hide" argument not only isn't true, i think it is a very privileged, egocentric perspective. Of course, if you're part of most majorities you have the luxury to blend with most people into data insignificance. But once you expand your perspective, you should see that people who are part of any kind of minority or do have specific conditions like medical ones, some gender, sexuality, class, race.. do depend on having their data protected.

@gemlog on the surface this looks like a good argumentative strategy, in practice it's useless or even counterproductive. I've tried it myself and all you manage to do is make the person you're talking to defensive and combative.

@maltimore Like anything, it depends upon which pieces you use and how you present it. Everyone is different.
I'm mostly preaching to the choir here in the fediverse, so I learn new perspectives any time I make such a post.
But you are correct: "Behavior X is stupid and you are stupid for doing it" pretty much never works as an avenue to persuasion!
Don't do that :-)

@darthkilroy Well, I know it's your mom, but be gentle. Maybe not all of it at once... ;-)

@gemlog I think it's pointless to argue with someone that doesn't understand the simple basic concept of privacy as a right. I may do that for someone I care for (e.g., my almost-teeneger son). Other people are free to waste their privacy as they like. I'm not going to waste my time explaining adults what's good for them.

@catfluoride @gemlog We can be as private as our social network is. Someone who doesn't understand that privacy is a human right, will expose their own data and the data of the people they talk to.

Our contacts' privacy is our privacy too, so if my people don't think their own privacy matters, I won't be free to choose what I disclose only to them. I'm free to leave the relationship or I can just accept the loss of my right to privacy. That's why I find important talking about this :)

@gemlog @chpietsch „And would you please leave your notebook unprotected – put it just on a square in the middle of the city center. Then let's see what will happen.“

@gemlog unlock your phone and leave the room.

That's all I'm saying. 😁

@gemlog a very annoying populist personality in the UK published his bank details a few years ago to show that no-one could use them and security was bunk. He was relieved of a fair bit of money ...

@gemlog just because I have nothing to hide, this doesn't mean that I have something to show

@gemlog I normally reply with, "then show me your entire internet search history".

It's not about having something to hide.
It's about having dignity.

@gemlog hmmm, no voting lately, password is "password456", I hate a lot of people but there's a limit on number of characters here

@gemlog Also it's physiological. If you know you're being spied on you put up a mental buffer in your brain to make sure that it's okay, which takes mental effort and makes you change your behaviour. It's also true with similar things like political correctness

@gemlog The creepy thing is, with the exception of passorts and banking information, they actually have no problems at all sharing any of it...
Anyone who has been around on the internet for a sufficient amount of time knows it.
Hell, they even openly share their entire work history with dates and job descripions and everything (for example on Linkedin).

@gemlog Absoluetly excellent way of looking at this, thank you for posting


In the Ukraine war, the Russians' online communications are used to bomb them to death with drone strikes. Metadata can be lethal.

* 12345, Pa$$word, admin
* Boris Johnson, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump
* Alba Party
* "Loituma - Ievan Polkka"

@fitheach You missed 'god' and 'letmein' ;-)
What are the popular ones this year? Much change? Let's see:
Seems I'm out of date! :-)

These passwords must be good, lots of people use them.

@fitheach I recently did a refresher on logical fallacies like that one you're joking about. The only things more difficult to keep top of mind day-to-day are cognitive biases, because there are so many! :-(

### 2\. The Bandwagon Fallacy
Just because a significant population of people believe a proposition is true, doesn't automatically make it true. Popularity alone is not enough to validate an argument, though it's often used as a standalone justification of validity. Arguments in this style don't take into account whether or not the population validating the argument is actually qualified to do so, or if contrary evidence exists.

While most of us expect to see bandwagon arguments in advertising (e.g., "three out of four people think X brand toothpaste cleans teeth best"), this fallacy can easily sneak its way into everyday meetings and conversations.

@fitheach @gemlog I am surprised so many common passwords solely use numbers.

@gemlog very insightful post. I could use some examples for the "what is legal today may not be legal tomorrow - incriminate future self - happened in the past". Can you please provide some examples of this happening? I am not doubting you. But would just like some concrete instances of such things. Off the top of my head is the Communist Control Act of 1954 in the U.S. where somebody might have been harassed for having been a communist in the past?

@jubei ah - there you are - I thought I lost the post for a sec ;-)
Um. Being jewish in holland wasn't illegal and was a matter of public record. Helped the nazis out a lot when they took over :-(
Another, more minor example, is a canadian researcher into LSD - when it was legal - then, decades later, being denied entry to the usa, because a border guard googled his name!
I could search for others. Those are off the top of my head.

@jubei Oh! Another thought: there are so many laws on the books that no one knows them all! At least that's true in canada and the usa. If all your communications are public, it wouldn't be difficult to play Cardinal Richelieu and find *something* to hang you with...
(might be apocryphal, but it's a popular enough story )

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