The Impact of Big Data on Security, Intelligence and Democratic Rights
Derrick Gosselin, SCK.CEN
Our growing ability to generate, store and analyse data will profoundly affect society and our interaction with institutions, governments and companies in the decades to come. Predictive analytics, the capacity to make predictions based on analysing patterns of personal behaviour, will become more sophisticated – including in realms such as fighting crime and preventing terrorism. We will have fast-expanding capacity for non-transparent intelligence collection and decision-making about people or groups based on unrevealed behaviour. However, predictive analytics is all about correlation and interpretation, not causality and knowledge; it therefore raises fundamental moral and ethical questions related to privacy and the presumption of innocence. Can we balance the benefits of predictive analytics with the democratic control needed to secure personal integrity?