Predictions and Data Protection
: Future Forecasting and Challenges for European Law

Student thesis: Master-after-master


In this Article, I discuss how European data protection laws deal with predictions. More specifically, the Article explores and examines what safeguards do European data protection laws provide that are helpful to mitigate the risks associated with prediction, and importantly, how do they fall short in addressing the issues arising from inaccurate predictions.
The Article demonstrates how two types of predictions, present prediction and future forecasting, raise essentially different issues. Future forecasting raises unique and novel issue because it’s about the probable and uncertain future. Specifically, individuals subject to future forecasting would have difficulties know what the accurate prediction is, and moreover challenging its inaccuracy.
While the European data protection laws provides some helpful safeguards against inaccurate predictions, three problems will be identified. First, the right to rectify inaccurate information does not provide meaningful solution in future forecasting cases. Second, from the perspective of due process, the notion of decisions based only on the “evidence” is moot in future forecasting cases. Third, prediction, especially future forecasting, raises challenge to the dichotomy approach of data protection law.
The Article concludes by possible solutions and suggestions.
Date of Award1 Sep 2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJoris Van Hoboken (Promotor)

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