Anytime you go online, you're not alone. Your internet activity is likely being tracked by the prying eyes of corporations and the security branches of government. It's an insidious form of spying that remains invisible to most. Others claim they couldn't care less who is watching or gathering data from their internet searches. After all, they claim, they have no secrets of value. The feature-length documentary Nothing to Hide outlines the flaws behind this common perspective, and reveals why modern online conveniences should not come at the expense of a person's right to privacy.
Many of those who have expressed grave concerns over online privacy have been dismissed as kooky conspiracy theorists. But according to the film's perspective, their paranoia is firmly grounded in reality. The film features interviews with consumer rights activists, sociologists, a former member of the National Security Agency (NSA), and a series of consumers who have experienced the perils of online surveillance.
At the center of it all is a young man who sees little harm in the practice. Like many others, he happily breezes through terms and conditions when installing an app, and accepts the risk of having his every online activity monitored in exchange.
He agrees to participate in a fascinating experiment for the film. His phone and laptop will be tracked for 30 days, and his metadata will be shared with analysts much like those employed by companies and organizations that specialize in monetizing personal data. What will this data reveal about his personal comings and goings, his likes and dislikes, and the building blocks of his daily life and relationships? Will he think differently about online surveillance once he gains a true sense of what he's giving up?
The film argues that the practice of surveillance, and our willingness to relinquish our private information, is more than just a ploy to target advertising. In fact, it's a gateway to a dystopian future worthy of George Orwell. The information gleaned from our online activities may be used to hinder our employment opportunities, threaten our financial health, and compromise more than just our freedom of speech.