While not one of the “tinfoil hat brigade,” I’ve always maintained a healthy skepticism (dare say “paranoia”?) about issues of personal privacy. As databases become bigger, survailence cameras become more common, and cheap, ubiquitous data storage actually make it practical to maintain a fairly in-depth file on every citizen, this skepticism is becoming more of a mainstream attitude.
The BBC had an excellent radio broadcast on the subject that acts as a great primer on the subject.
Of particular value is the response to the common “The innocent have nothing to fear from invasion of privacy, as they have nothing to hide” argument:
<blockquote>Obviously the implication of the theory of nothing to hide, nothing to fear is that privacy is a right which protects the guilty; privacy is a right which protects Ian Huntley rather than a right which protects the average, ordinary, law-abiding member of the public. But I think that that rationale is deeply flawed and that the average law-abiding citizen does have much to fear actually from privacy invasion – not because the citizen intends to do anything wrong or has done anything wrong, but I think that the state should assume that all individuals have nothing to hide unless it has a specific compelling reason to believe otherwise.”</blockquote>