Manipulation, Real-time Profiling, and their Wrongs
"Manipulation, Real-time Profiling, and their Wrongs". In: The Philosophy of Online Manipulation. Michael Klenk & Fleur Jongepier (eds). Routledge, (Forthcoming)
19 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2021
Date Written: September 01, 2021
Technology scholars and journalists have recently called attention to digital platforms’ and devices’ ability to influence users based on their present moods, stress level, hunger, and other transient features. For them, such influence based on users’ present status – what the chapter calls “real-time profiling” – is not only a clear form of wrongful manipulation, but also online manipulation’s future. The chapter aims to explain what makes real-time profiling wrong (when wrong) and discusses problems associated with its regulation. After explaining what real-time profiling consists in and showing that it can be presumed to be a form of manipulation, the chapter argues that real-time profiling is wrong both because the profiler psychologically hijacks profiled subjects and because it works as a gateway to further wrongs. Towards the end, the chapter discusses some implications of the proposed account for the legal regulation of online manipulative technologies like real-time profiling. It is argued that existing legal frameworks are not fine-grained enough to deal with the wrongs associated with real-time profiling and related forms of online manipulation.
Keywords: Manipulation, Digital Ethics, Profiling, Data Protection Law, Consumer Law, AI Regulation
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