Today’s world of constant surveillance and data collection allows for the gathering of vast amounts of personal information. In this reality, sophistication in the analysis of information is key. Data mining is probably the information collectors’ only hope to close the sophistication gap, yet the use of advanced means of analysis is certain to impact individuals and society in various ways. This Article addresses the use of data mining applications in analyzing personal information and its impact upon society. It begins with a description of current data mining practices from a technical point of view, a perspective often overlooked in legal scholarship. The Article next describes the current privacy debate, highlighting the issues most relevant to the new reality data mining creates. Among others, it addresses issues such as discrimination, threats to autonomy, misuse of data and the consequences of erroneous information. The analysis is facilitated by several concrete “hypotheticals” that address some of the otherwise abstract concepts this debate presents in simple terms. The author asserts that in view of data mining tools, some traditional claims of privacy are rendered trivial or obsolete, while others are of particular importance. After focusing on the role of public opinion, the Article concludes by outlining a public opinion campaign which may prove useful in finding solutions to the legal problems data mining tools create.
|Journal||Yale Journal of Law and Technology|
|State||Published - 2003|