DiscoverLegal Studies at the School of Advanced StudyEmotion detection, personalisation and autonomous decision-making online
Emotion detection, personalisation and autonomous decision-making online

Emotion detection, personalisation and autonomous decision-making online

Update: 2018-02-05
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Speaker: Damian Clifford, KU Leuven Centre for IT and IP Law
Panel Discussants: Dr Edina Harbinja, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Hertfordshire, Hamed Haddadi, Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor,
Chair: Dr Nora Ni Loideain, Director and Lecturer in Law, Information Law and Policy Centre, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Emotions play a key role in decision making. Technological advancements are now rendering emotions detectable in real-time. Building on the granular insights provided by big data, such technological developments allow commercial entities to move beyond the targeting of behaviour in advertisements to the personalisation of services, interfaces and the other consumer-facing interactions, based on personal preferences, biases and emotion insights gleaned from the tracking of online activity and profiling and the emergence of ‘emphathic media’.

Although emotion measurement is far from a new phenomenon, technological developments are increasing the capacity to monetise emotions. From the analysis of inter alia facial expressions, voice/sound patterns, to text and data mining, and the use of smart devices to detect emotions, such techniques are becoming mainstream.

Despite the fact there are many applications of such technologies which appear morally above reproach (i.e. at least in terms of their goals (e.g. healthcare or road safety) as opposed to the risks associated with their implementation, deployment and their potential effects), their use for advertising and marketing purposes raises clear concerns in terms of the rationality-based paradigm inherent to citizen-consumer protections and thus the autonomous decision-making capacity of individuals.

In this ILPC seminar, Visiting Scholar Damian Clifford will examine the emergence of such technologies in an online context vis-à-vis their use for commercial advertising and marketing purposes (construed broadly) and the challenges they present for EU data protection and consumer protection law. The analysis will rely on a descriptive and evaluative analysis of the relevant frameworks and aims to provide normative insights into the potential legal challenges presented by emotion commercialization online.
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Emotion detection, personalisation and autonomous decision-making online

Emotion detection, personalisation and autonomous decision-making online

School of Advanced Study, University of London