6 April 2017
Imagine a friend tells you about a holiday deal. You go online to book the same deal but you cannot see it on the website. Unbeknown to you, behind the scenes an algorithm has analysed where you live, your age, gender, occupation, online activity and more and decided you wouldn’t be interested.
This is called profiling.
Today we published our initial thoughts on this topic under the GDPR, which introduces stricter provisions to protect individuals from this type of data processing.
Profiling can be a powerful tool for organisations and can benefit individuals, the economy and society generally. It can help organisations to understand and target audiences more effectively and is used to make decisions about people, but these can have a significant and sometimes detrimental effect on individuals.
People also often don’t know they are being profiled and therefore have no understanding of how their personal data is being used.
The discussion paper published today highlights the key areas of profiling we feel need further consideration. This includes subjects like marketing, the right to object and data minimisation - and we want your feedback. We’d like to hear the views of our stakeholders and get examples of best practice before 28 April 2017.
We’re taking a leading role on this issue as part of the Article 29 Working Party – the group that brings together EU data protection regulators. The Article 29 Working Party guidelines on profiling are due to be published later this year and we will use your feedback to inform that work.
You can find regular updates on the progress via our data protection reform webpages.
Jo Pedder is Interim Head of Policy and Engagement. She has lead responsibility for the ICO’s guidance on the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act.