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Privacy, Autonomy, and Personalised Targeting: rethinking how personal data is used

Paper by Karina Vold, Jess Whittlestone

Privacy, Autonomy, and Personalised Targeting: rethinking how personal data is used. Karina Vold and Jess Whittlestone.  Volume on Data, Privacy, and the Individual in the Digital Age. Center for the Governance on Change. 

The last years established beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are living through a crucial historical moment regarding privacy. Two events stamped 2018 as a landmark year for privacy: the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the implementation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. The former showed the extent to which personal data has been shared without data subjects’ knowledge and consent and many times for unacceptable purposes, such as swaying elections. The latter inaugurated the beginning of robust data protection regulation in the digital age.

The aim of this research project is to contribute to a better understanding of the importance of privacy and the options available to better protect personal data. The outcomes of the project are seven research papers on privacy, a survey on privacy, and this final report, which first summarises the research and goes on to offer a set of recommendations to implement best practices regarding privacy.

This paper is concerned with how personal data is used. In particular, Karina Vold and Jess Whittlestone examine the ethics of targeting ads and services to individuals.

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