Inaccuracy as a privacy-enhancing tool

Ethics and Information Technology 12 (1):87-95 (2010)
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Abstract

The accuracy principle is one of the key standards of informational privacy. It epitomises the obligation for those processing personal data to keep their records accurate and up-to-date, with the aim of protecting individuals from unfair decisions. Currently, however, different practices being put in place in order to enhance the protection of individuals appear to deliberately rely on the use of ‘inaccurate’ personal information. This article explores such practices and tries to assess their potential for privacy protection, giving particular attention to their legal implications and to related ethical issues. Ultimately, it suggests that the use of ‘inaccurate’ data can potentially play a useful role to preserve the informational autonomy of the individual, and that any understandings of privacy or personal data protection that would tend to unduly limit such potential should be critically questioned.

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