Posted by R. Berg on October 20, 2001
In Reply to: Shopper cards posted by ESC on October 20, 2001
: : : : I have had this much of a quote or saying regarding personal
privacy bouncing around my head.
: : : : "If/Since you have nothing to hide you won't mind my searching/looking..." Here's where it gets fuzzy for me.
: : : : Can someone give me the actual wording and maybe where it's from? Thanks. jason
: : : Just a guess but I think Senator Joe McCarthy may have originated that phrase.
: : : The US and Communist Russia were, after WW2, involved in a Cold War for many decades.
: : : Senator Joe, in the early 1950s, was convinced that the US was being infiltrated by Reds and Lefties so he whipped up public opinion with the aid of certain newspapers and influential newspaper columnists.
: : : The US Congress created a special committee to look into the "Red Menace" entitled the House Un-American Activities Committee ( HUAC ) and he was the chairman of the HUAC.
: : : His operatives and henchmen investigated certain people's backgrounds and if the Senator did not like what his people found then the victims of his investigations would be "invited" to testify before HUAC.
: : : If you chose to invoke your right NOT to testify then the
Senator would bellow out in a most scary fashion that "if you had
nothing to hide...".
: : : Eventually, people started shouting back at him,he fell from grace and eventually slithered back into the cave from whence he came.
: : "If you have nothing to hide . . ." also sounds like a movie-dialogue cliché; the wording would vary from one movie to another.
: I would like to digress a lot on a privacy issue. Shopper cards -- like the Kroger-Plus card, bother me a lot and I refuse to use them. These cards give discounts (and that is questionable) in exchange for a store being able to keep tabs on your purchases. If I buy prunes and a 12-pack of toilet paper (like I noticed another shopper did), I don't want a record kept on it. Do these cards bother anyone else?
Yes, they bother me in principle, but I use Safeway's card (having omitted much of the info they asked for on the application; they'll give you a card without being told your driver's license number) and remind myself that the "me" whose privacy feels threatened doesn't exist in the "mind" of Safeway. They're not being voyeuristic, they're just maintaining a database. If I lived in a small town and bought great quantities of prunes and t.p. with remarkable, er, regularity, everybody would know it anyway.