hide something on your mobile

So you have nothing to hide? ...Oh really!?

Monday 28 September, 2020

Digital and mobile privacy has long been debated, with most people using the well-worn phrase “I have nothing to hide, so why do I care about surveillance?”. 

To quote Edward Snowden “Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say." "When you say, 'I have nothing to hide,' you're saying, 'I don't care about this right’”.

Something to hide or just being private?

Let’s look in a bit more detail about what it is that’s actually being said by Edward Snowden.

Firstly, it needs to be understood that there is a difference between hiding something and being private. We all have aspects of our lives that we like to keep private. Real privacy allows you to control the aspects of your life which you are happy to share with others. It means, you choose what and when to share rather than being forced to share. 

For example, if you decide to take a shower or a bath, would you want everyone to be able to watch you undress and wash? Chances are the answer is no, as you value your privacy, but you’re not actually hiding from anyone. 

The same principle applies to a lot of what you do digitally. For another example, if you decide to take an intimate picture of yourself to send to your loved one, would you want everyone to be able to view it? Again, the answer is probably no, and again it’s down to digital and mobile privacy rather than hiding something. 

You have a right to mobile privacy

If we apply the same logic to all your digital communication and personal data, it is clear that, although you may not be doing anything wrong, you should still be able to keep your privacy from everyone else, including governments and law enforcement agencies. 

However, there are still those, in particular governments and law enforcement agencies, that continue to push to remove the end to end encryption of communications in order for them to be able to access people’s mobile communications. They state that, this would only be required for the criminals using the system. 

Your job requires mobile and digital privacy

However, once this type of access is obtained, where will the surveillance stop? Think of all the people who, by their very nature, are reliant on being able to communicate both legally and in privacy. These would include Investigative Journalists, who could be researching the behaviour of government officials. Or protestors seeking to change unjust laws. 

These are the very people that encryption protects for the greater good. If these groups can be monitored in this way, it makes it much easier to silence them. It is precisely for this reason that, in order for society to change for the better, some people need to move and rally against poorly designed laws. They can only do this with the ability to discuss their subjects amongst themselves in privacy. 

How to maintain digital and mobile privacy

As you can see, privacy is more than just keeping a secret from others. It’s more than criminals conducting their business out of view of the authorities. Digital privacy and security reaches to the very fabric of society and can help foster change for the greater good. 

By denying this mobile and digital privacy, through the removal of end to end encrypted communication, places the power over the many into the hands of the few. 

The Blackphone PRIVY has been well regarded as one of the most secure mobile smartphones on the market. Our smartphones have been protecting the privacy of industry leaders, Governments and high net worth individuals for many years. 

We wholeheartedly support the need to retain the ability to choose privacy, and hope that this helps to highlight the reasons that show you should care about your digital privacy.

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