Challenging algorithmic profiling: The limits of data protection and anti-discrimination in responding to emergent discrimination

Big Data and Society 6 (2) (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The potential for biases being built into algorithms has been known for some time, yet literature has only recently demonstrated the ways algorithmic profiling can result in social sorting and harm marginalised groups. We contend that with increased algorithmic complexity, biases will become more sophisticated and difficult to identify, control for, or contest. Our argument has four steps: first, we show how harnessing algorithms means that data gathered at a particular place and time relating to specific persons, can be used to build group models applied in different contexts to different persons. Thus, privacy and data protection rights, with their focus on individuals, do not protect from the discriminatory potential of algorithmic profiling. Second, we explore the idea that anti-discrimination regulation may be more promising, but acknowledge limitations. Third, we argue that in order to harness anti-discrimination regulation, it needs to confront emergent forms of discrimination or risk creating new invisibilities, including invisibility from existing safeguards. Finally, we outline suggestions to address emergent forms of discrimination and exclusionary invisibilities via intersectional and post-colonial analysis.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,219

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Profiling and the rule of law.Mireille Hildebrandt - 2008 - Identity in the Information Society 1 (1):55-70.
statistical discrimination.Annabelle Lever - 2016 - The Philosophers Magazine 7 (2).
The badness of discrimination.Kasper Lippert-Rasmussen - 2006 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (2):167-185.
Discrimination as an Individual Wrong.Michael P. Foran - 2019 - Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 39 (4):901-929.
Discrimination and Disrespect.Benjamin Eidelson - 2015 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press UK.
Privacy and Protection of Marginalized Social Groups.Stephen Kabera Karanja - 2009 - Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology 2 (3).


Added to PP

99 (#169,917)

6 months
77 (#54,851)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?