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Publisher's Summary

An accessible guide that breaks down the complex issues around mass surveillance and data privacy and explores the negative consequences it can have on individual citizens and their communities.

No one is exempt from data mining: by owning a smartphone, or using social media or a credit card, we hand over private data to corporations and the government. We need to understand how surveillance and data collection operates in order to regain control over our digital freedoms - and our lives.

Attorney and data privacy expert Heidi Boghosian unpacks widespread myths around the seemingly innocuous nature of surveillance, sets the record straight about what government agencies and corporations do with our personal data, and offers solutions to take back our information. “I Have Nothing to Hide” is both a necessary mass surveillance overview and a reference book. It addresses the misconceptions around tradeoffs between privacy and security, citizen spying, and the ability to design products with privacy protections. Boghosian breaks down misinformation surrounding 21 core myths about data privacy, including:

  • “Surveillance makes the nation safer.” 
  • "No one wants to spy on kids.” 
  • “Police don’t monitor social media.” 
  • “Metadata doesn’t reveal much about me.”
  • “Congress and the courts protect us from surveillance.” 
  • "There’s nothing I can do to stop surveillance.” 

By dispelling myths related to surveillance, this book helps listeners better understand what data is being collected, who is gathering it, how they’re doing it, and why it matters.

©2021 Heidi Boghosian (P)2021 Beacon Press

Critic Reviews

"I Have Nothing to Hide is a sweeping, yet direct and admirably up-to-date book on one of the most important topics of our time, and Boghosian’s effort to keep these pivotal matters on the national agenda is a praiseworthy, if all-too-often unappreciated, task.... Boghosian’s work is a clear call to re-embrace our privacy and value its place both in our lives as individuals and in a free society.” (Los Angeles Review of Books)

“The first time I opened this book, I audibly squealed in delight. The persistent privacy myths that Boghosian exposes are the torment of every privacy advocate’s existence. She eviscerates each one with style. Melding important tech and policy history with personal stories and current events, this book is for anyone who wants to lay to rest the most persistent and damaging myth: that we should give up on our privacy altogether.” (Alison Macrina, director, Library Freedom Project)

“Heidi Boghosian’s book clearly and concisely tears down the lies we tell ourselves when it comes to the dark underbelly of technology as it relates to surveillance. Privacy is a right, and we need leaders like Heidi to tell us how to defend it from entities that purport to protect and serve us.” (Rachel A. Pickens, executive director, National Police Accountability Project)

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