UW Privacy Office

November 12, 2020

When Does Predictive Technology Become Unethical?

Source: Harvard Business Review, October 23, 2020

When Does Predictive Technology Become Unethical?

This isn’t a case of mishandling, leaking, or stealing data. Rather, it is the generation of new data — the indirect discovery of unvolunteered truths about people. Organizations can predict these powerful insights from existing innocuous data, as if creating them out of thin air.

So are we ironically facing a downside when predictive models perform too well? We know there’s a cost when models predict incorrectly, but is there also a cost when they predict correctly?