Risks of Profiling and the Limits of Data Protection Law

Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 3)

Abstract

Profiling and automated decision-making may pose risks to individuals. Possible risks that flow forth from profiling and automated decision-making include discrimination, de-individualisation and stereotyping. To mitigate these risks, the right to privacy is traditionally invoked. However, given the rapid technological developments in the area of profiling, it is questionable whether the right to informational privacy and data protection law provide an adequate level of protection and are effective in balancing different interests when it comes to profiling. To answer the question as to whether data protection law can adequately protect us against the risks of profiling, I will discuss the role of data protection law in the context of profiling and automated decision-making. First, the specific risks associated with profiling and automated decision-making are explored. From there I examine how data protection law addresses these risks. Next I discuss possible limitations and possible drawbacks of data protection law when it comes to the issue of profiling and automated decision-making. I conclude with several suggestions to for making current data protection law more effective in dealing with the risks of profiling. These include more focus on the actual goals of data processing and ‘ethics by design’.

Keywords

Moral Reason Personal Data Data Protection Working Party Data Subject 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.eLaw, Institute for Law in the Information SocietyLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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