"Ja, ich hab was zu verbergen!"

Data protection seems to be an important subject for a lot people, but at the same time very complex and abstract. The sentence “I don’t have anything to hide” is often dropped and sounds so simple and clear that it often remains uncontested. But is it true? Is there really nothing we have to hide?

Strictly speaking, there are several things we have to hide: The pin number for our bank account, small sins in our daily life, but also maybe our personal medical history or details regarding our sexual orientation. We often forget that this kind of knowledge can also be used against us because we have grown up and live in an overall tolerant society. Often, we only think about the state when we say we do not have anything to fear regarding more surveillance. We quickly forget that our daily lives are shaped by asymmetrical power relations everywhere – and our data information generally benefits the strongest side.

This reader presents the historical development regarding data protection and determines how surveillance can affect our free society.