Living in an era of digitalisation and automated decision making has made access to services more effective, efficient and highly convenient. It is hard to ignore that e-commerce has essentially opened up an industry wherein the consumers have the privileged access to be spoilt for choice, at a cost of giving up personal data the value of which they don't realise. This personal data which serves as attributes to help algorithms understand consumer behavior. In effect, by understanding consumer behavior the algorithm shows products and services that the consumer will be interested in. In the words of the corporations, this act of profiling helps discharge a more effective and satisfactory service.
From a legal standpoint, the act of profiling although on the face of it is not illegal1 but definitely poses a variety of threats to the traditional principles of law that have maintained a sense of order in the society . It is in this context I shall attempt to draw your attention to the imminent and continuing peril profiling holds if remained unregulated.
The Subtle Propagation Of Discrimination
Prohibition of discrimination is not just a nationally but is universally recognized as a right.2 It is important to understand that the act of profiling consumers is a potential tool to propagate discrimination through the digital world of the Internet. For example the access to data that understands the spending capacity of the consumer can lead to prices being listed differently for different people and thus result in price discrimination to a significant extent.3 Additionally, potential employers that employ HR analytical companies to scan through the pool of talent of potential employees can specifically choose a certain person not because he/ she is more qualified for the job but because the potential employee is part of the a specific gender, race, caste, place etc and deny the opportunity to a potential meritorious candidate. Further, if profiling remains unregulated and is deployed on information such as genetics, potential employers and insurance companies may not grant the job or the health insurance merely on the ground that they might have a gene mutation that causes or increase the risk of an inherited disorder, in result violating the principle of equality recognized under Article 14 of the Constitution.4 Thus, the act of profiling in the near future will evolve into a subtle but powerful means of propagating discrimination...
Does Profiling Jeopardize Traditional Principles Of Law?
|Author:||Ms Eashwari Nair|
|Profession:||Khurana and Khurana|
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