Reply by Ronald Leenes (TILT): Addressing the Obscurity of Data Clouds

TILT Law & Technology Working Paper No. 012/2009

Tilburg University Legal Studies Working Paper No. 008/2009

8 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2009 Last revised: 15 Jul 2010

See all articles by Ronald E. Leenes

Ronald E. Leenes

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society; Tilburg Law School; Tilburg University

Date Written: April 17, 2009

Abstract

Gutwirth and de Hert proclaim data protection instrumental to privacy. Privacy incorporates notions such as individuality, autonomy, integrity and dignity. These values are affected by IT systems that use personal data. Data protection regulation aims to control the use of personal data to protect the fundamental values mentioned. Data protection regulation is therefore a transparency tool; it makes the powerful accountable. Modern profiling techniques potentially obscure the concepts and relations underlying the Data protection framework. Some types of profiles derived from data mining constitute digital persona on which decisions about individuals are taken. These profiles by their very essence may render incorrect representations of the individuals to which they are applied, possibly resulting in unfair judgement about them. Transparency in the sense of explicating the profile or inference rules used to derive at particular decisions about individuals seems to be a necessity to guarantee privacy protection. This will, however, not be welcomed by the users of the profiles. Opacity tools, such as Privacy Enhancing Technologies may prove to be necessary complements.

Keywords: Profiling, privacy, data protection, transparency tools, code as law

JEL Classification: K32, K40

Suggested Citation

Leenes, Ronald E., Reply by Ronald Leenes (TILT): Addressing the Obscurity of Data Clouds (April 17, 2009). TILT Law & Technology Working Paper No. 012/2009; Tilburg University Legal Studies Working Paper No. 008/2009 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1393193 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1393193

Ronald E. Leenes (Contact Author)

Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society

NL-5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands

Tilburg Law School ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tilburg University ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC 5000 LE
Netherlands

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