Profling and the Rule of Law

Identity in Information Society (IDIS), Vol. 1, 2008

16 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2009

See all articles by Mireille Hildebrandt

Mireille Hildebrandt

Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Radboud University

Date Written: January 23, 2009


Both corporate and global governance seem to demand increasingly sophisticated means for identification. Supposedly justified by an appeal to security threats, fraud and abuse, citizens are screened, located, detected and their data stored, aggregated and analysed. At the same time potential customers are profiled to detect their habits and preferences in order to provide for targeted services. Both industry and the European Commission are investing huge sums of money into what they call Ambient Intelligence and the creation of an 'Internet of Things'. Such intelligent networked environments will entirely depend on real time monitoring and real time profiling, resulting in real time adaptation of the environment. In this contribution the author will assess the threats and opportunities of such autonomic profiling in terms of its impact on individual autonomy and refined discrimination and indicate the extent to which traditional data protection is effective as regards profiling.

Suggested Citation

Hildebrandt, Mireille, Profling and the Rule of Law (January 23, 2009). Identity in Information Society (IDIS), Vol. 1, 2008, Available at SSRN:

Mireille Hildebrandt (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Brussel ( email )

Pleinlaan 2
Brussels, B-1050


Radboud University ( email )

P.O. Box 9010
Nijmegen, 6500GL

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