Beyond Our Behavior: The GDPR and Humanistic Personalization

08/31/2020 ∙ by Travis Greene, et al. ∙ 0

Personalization should take the human person seriously. This requires a deeper understanding of how recommender systems can shape both our self-understanding and identity. We unpack key European humanistic and philosophical ideas underlying the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and propose a new paradigm of humanistic personalization. Humanistic personalization responds to the IEEE's call for Ethically Aligned Design (EAD) and is based on fundamental human capacities and values. Humanistic personalization focuses on narrative accuracy: the subjective fit between a person's self-narrative and both the input (personal data) and output of a recommender system. In doing so, we re-frame the distinction between implicit and explicit data collection as one of nonconscious ("organismic") behavior and conscious ("reflective") action. This distinction raises important ethical and interpretive issues related to agency, self-understanding, and political participation. Finally, we discuss how an emphasis on narrative accuracy can reduce opportunities for epistemic injustice done to data subjects.



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