The increasing prevalence of analytics and Big Data in both the private and public sector present novel challenges for privacy. In this presentation, an example of the concept of predictive privacy harms will be provided. What does it actually mean to predict (individual) behaviour? How do predictive analytics work? And how can predictive analytics turn into predictive privacy harms?
One of the most clichéd examples to illustrate the novel nature of this challenge is the notorious case of the Target pregnancy case. In 2012, the New York Times reported how the retail chain Target uses data mining to predict pregnancies in its female customers - regardless of whether this information has been shared with friends or family. While this example has been exhausted to such an extent that it almost amounts to a cliché, it is nonetheless an interesting starting point to investigate how we talk about and interpret predictive privacy harms in public discourse.