ResourceMarch 17 2014

Primer: Predicting Human Behavior

Tamara Kneese,
Alex Rosenblat,
danah boyd

Countless highly accurate predictions can be made from trace data, with varying degrees of personal or societal consequence (e.g., search engines predict hospital admission, gaming companies can predict compulsive gambling problems, government agencies predict criminal activity). Predicting human behavior can be both hugely beneficial and deeply problematic depending on the context. What kinds of predictive privacy harms are emerging? And what are the implications for systems of oversight and due process protections? For example, what are the implications for employment, health care and policing when predictive models are involved? How should varied organizations address what they can predict?

This document is a workshop primer from The Social, Cultural & Ethical Dimensions of “Big Data”.