Mai’s datafication theory

#citylis Of all the theories & philosophies on privacy that I have read so far, the one that stands out for me is Mai’s datafication theory. Ever since I first read the article (“Big data privacy: the dataification of personal information” Mai , 2016), last year, this has been the theory that has made me think the most about the meaning of “privacy” in the age of big data; and especially the outdated focus on getting consent, when predictive analytics is used to generate new data based on information they already hold, but where they have made assumptions or come up with a profile of people based on probabilities using similarities they have seen with other people.

Need to shift from definitions of privacy to models of privacy (how it works)

– Surveillance model

– Capture model

And to add to the list the datafication model (data deduced by predictive analytics)

Takes things beyond consent

People may not realise how their information is used to create new information that hasn’t been volunteered. They have no control over that information.

Need to switch focus from data collection to data processing (to generate new information and knowledge)

People reveal personal information when performing everyday activities such as reading ebooks

Consent is now meaningless because it assumes that data subjects make conscious, rational and autonomous choices about the processing of their personal data

Ethical challenge isn’t over whether to collect data, rather it is about responsible use and analysis of that information.

Move from data collection (ontologically oriented) to data processing & analytics (epistemologically oriented)

Datafication model assumes data has been collected (collected, amassed, stolen, bought, hacked or otherwise acquired).

Looks at patterns of behaviour

Dataification: where data is assumed based on patterns from big data, based on probability. Consent not required, because they are working on what they have deduced or guessed for themselves.   further develops Bentham’s panopticon, seeing it as a means of exerting order and control over human populations, often through unseen forces

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