Harmful Inference

We live in a world where governments, in making their policy decisions, increasingly rely on big data and their interpretation by artificial intelligence ( AI). AI makes data combing and analysis more effective than ever before: it can help to make inferences from existing data, and these inferences can be grounds for making assumptions from the available data. For individual citizens, on the other hand, it is increasingly difficult to protect their personal data and defend themselves from various unwanted biases in the interpretation of those data. While the data protection regime of the European Union and its interpretation by the European Court of Justice provide some defence for the rights of the individuals, it does not protect them sufficiently from the harmful inferences that could be made from the existing data. The current data protection regime seems to be unprepared for the fourth industrial revolution of which automated data analysis is an essential part.