KDD, data mining, and the challenge for normative privacy

Ethics and Information Technology 1 (4):265-273 (1999)
Abstract
The present study examines certain challenges that KDD (Knowledge Discovery in Databases) in general and data mining in particular pose for normative privacy and public policy. In an earlier work (see Tavani, 1999), I argued that certain applications of data-mining technology involving the manipulation of personal data raise special privacy concerns. Whereas the main purpose of the earlier essay was to show what those specific privacy concerns are and to describe how exactly those concerns have been introduced by the use of certain KDD and data-mining techniques, the present study questions whether the use of those techniques necessarily violates the privacy of individuals. This question is considered vis-à-vis a recent theory of privacy advanced by James Moor (1997). The implications of that privacy theory for a data-mining policy are also considered.
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