I’m an anthropologist, and I’m also the mother of two little girls. And I started to become interested in this question in 2015 when I suddenly realized that there were vast – almost unimaginable amounts of data traces that are being produced and collected about children. So I launched a research project, which is called Child Data Citizen, and I aimed at filling in the blank.
We have no knowledge or control over the ways in which those who buy, sell and process our data are profiling us and our children. But these profiles can come to impact our rights in significant ways.
But we need to abandon the belief that these technologies can objectively profile humans and that we can rely on them to make data-driven decisions about individual lives. Because they can’t profile humans. Data traces are not the mirror of who we are. Humans think one thing and say the opposite, feel one way and act differently. Algorithmic predictions or our digital practices cannot account for the unpredictability and complexity of human experience.