Why Privacy Matters Essay

2751 Words May 16th, 2014 12 Pages
Why Privacy Matters: Debunking the Nothing-to-Hide Argument
In today’s society, the word “privacy” has become ubiquitous. We see it every day; on HIPAA forms, social networking sites, online transactions, et cetera. In his essay, “Why Privacy Matters Even if
You Have ‘Nothing to Hide’”, published in May of 2011, Professor Daniel J. Solove argues that the issue of privacy affects more than just individuals hiding a wrong. Solove jumps right into his dissection of the
“I’ve got nothing to hide” argument, which is so often mentioned in discussions regarding the government’s gathering and analysis of our personal information. He explains how this argument stems from an inadequate definition of what privacy is and the value that privacy
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Throughout the introduction of this excerpt, Solove focuses on building his intrinsic ethos and creates an ethical appeal to the audience. It is formatted as a preview of what will be discussed in greater detail in the body of the essay. He begins by stating a common syllogism that is the antithesis to Solove’s argument; “I’ve got nothing to hide…only if you’re doing something wrong should you worry, and then
Why Privacy Matters: Debunking the Nothing-to-Hide Argument
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3 you don’t deserve to keep it private.” (Solove, para 1) This statement juxtaposes the title and builds trust between Solove and the readers by recognizing a common belief held by members of the audience. In order to establish a relationship and persuade the audience, Solove begins strengthening his perceived moral character by alternating between the two opposing points-of-view; effectively proving that he is fair-minded. His effort to objectively explain the reasoning behind the nothing-to-hide argument creates a sense of good-will between Solove and the audience. To bolster the credibility of

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