How Data Can Be Used Against People: A Classification of Personal Data Misuses

18 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2021 Last revised: 31 Dec 2021

See all articles by Jacob Leon Kröger

Jacob Leon Kröger

Technische Universität Berlin; Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society

Milagros Miceli

Technische Universität Berlin; Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society

Florian Müller

Universität Kassel

Date Written: December 30, 2021

Abstract

Even after decades of intensive research and public debates, the topic of data privacy remains surrounded by confusion and misinformation. Many people still struggle to grasp the importance of privacy, which has far-reaching consequences for social norms, jurisprudence, and legislation. Discussions on personal data misuse often revolve around a few popular talking points, such as targeted advertising or government surveillance, leading to an overly narrow view of the problem. Literature in the field tends to focus on specific aspects, such as the privacy threats posed by ‘big data’, while overlooking many other possible harms. To help broaden the perspective, this paper proposes a novel classification of the ways in which personal data can be used against people, richly illustrated by real-world examples. Aside from offering a terminology to discuss the broad spectrum of personal data misuse in research and public discourse, our classification provides a foundation for consumer education and privacy impact assessments, helping to shed light on the risks involved with disclosing personal data.

Keywords: Privacy, Data protection, Personal data, Surveillance, Discrimination, Harms, Consequences

Suggested Citation

Kröger, Jacob Leon and Miceli, Milagros and Müller, Florian, How Data Can Be Used Against People: A Classification of Personal Data Misuses (December 30, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3887097 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3887097

Jacob Leon Kröger (Contact Author)

Technische Universität Berlin

Straße des 17. Juni 135
Berlin, 10623
Germany

Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society

Hardenbergstraße 32
Berlin, 10623
Germany

Milagros Miceli

Technische Universität Berlin; Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society

Straße des 17. Juni 135
Berlin, 10623
Germany

Florian Müller

Universität Kassel

Nora-Platiel-Str. 5
Kassel, Hessen 34127
Germany

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