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Is That Your Final Decision? Multi-Stage Profiling, Selective Effects, and Article 22 of the GDPR

Binns, R; Veale, M; (2021) Is That Your Final Decision? Multi-Stage Profiling, Selective Effects, and Article 22 of the GDPR. International Data Privacy Law 10.1093/idpl/ipab020. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Provisions in many data protection laws require a legal basis, or at the very least safeguards, for significant, solely automated decisions; Article 22 of the GDPR is the most notable. - Little attention has been paid to Article 22 in light of decision-making processes with multiple stages, potentially both manual and automated, and which together might impact upon decision subjects in different ways. - Using stylised examples grounded in real-world systems, we raise five distinct complications relating to interpreting Article 22 in the context of such multi-stage profiling systems. - These are: the potential for selective automation on subsets of data subjects despite generally adequate human input; the ambiguity around where to locate the decision itself; whether 'significance' should be interpreted in terms of any potential effects or only selectively in terms of realised effects; the potential for upstream automation processes to foreclose downstream outcomes despite human input; and that a focus on the final step may distract from the status and importance of upstream processes. - We argue that the nature of these challenges will make it difficult for courts or regulators to distil a set of clear, fair and consistent interpretations for many realistic contexts.

Type: Article
Title: Is That Your Final Decision? Multi-Stage Profiling, Selective Effects, and Article 22 of the GDPR
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/idpl/ipab020
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/idpl/ipab020
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Laws
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10132775
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