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Discrimination and Privacy in the Information Society: Data Mining and Profiling in Large Databases (Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics)

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Vast amounts of data are nowadays collected, stored and processed, in an effort to assist in  making a variety of administrative and governmental decisions. These innovative steps considerably improve the speed, effectiveness and quality of decisions. Analyses are increasingly performed by data mining and profiling technologies that statistically and automatically determine patterns and trends. However, when such practices lead to unwanted or unjustified selections, they may result in unacceptable forms of  discrimination.

Processing vast amounts of data may lead to situations in which data controllers know many of the characteristics, behaviors and whereabouts of people. In some cases, analysts might know more about individuals than these individuals know about themselves. Judging people by their digital identities sheds a different light on our views of privacy and data protection.

This book discusses discrimination and privacy issues related to data mining and profiling practices. It provides technological and regulatory solutions, to problems which arise in these innovative contexts. The book explains that common measures for mitigating privacy and discrimination, such as access controls and anonymity, fail to properly resolve privacy and discrimination concerns. Therefore, new solutions, focusing on technology design, transparency and accountability are called for and set forth.

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