Data protection: Committee of Ministers updates recommendation on profiling
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has adopted a Recommendation aiming to respond to the radical changes in profiling techniques in the last decade and to the consequent need for additional safeguards to protect personal data and private life of individuals.
recommendation provides that respect for fundamental rights and freedoms,
notably human dignity, privacy, freedom of expression, non-discrimination,
social justice, cultural diversity and democracy should be guaranteed in both
the public and private sectors during all profiling operations.
The recommendation refers to profiling as any form of
automated processing of personal data, including use of machine learning
systems, consisting in the use of data to evaluate certain personal aspects
relating to an individual, in particular to analyse or predict aspects
concerning that person’s performance at work, economic situation, health,
personal preferences, interests, reliability, behaviour, location or movements.
The Committee of Ministers issues the recommendation considering, among other issues, that profiling techniques can impact individuals by placing them in predetermined categories, very often without their knowledge. This lack of transparency can pose significant risks to human rights, particularly for vulnerable persons, including children.
The Committee therefore calls on states to promote and make
legally binding the use of a “privacy by design” approach during the whole
duration of the processing, notably through the use of privacy-enhancing
technologies. It also suggests
that they take appropriate measures against the development and use of
technologies which are aimed, wholly or partly, at the illicit circumvention of
technological measures protecting privacy. (coe.int / photo pixabay.com)