Privacy, neuroimaging and public policy


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Presented at Neuroethics, UCL, 8 May 2009

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  • Privacy, neuroimaging and public policy

    1. 1. Privacy, neuroimaging and public policy Dr Ian Brown, OII
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Definitions of privacy </li></ul><ul><li>National security </li></ul><ul><li>Criminal justice </li></ul><ul><li>Education and employment </li></ul><ul><li>Healthcare and insurance </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing and persuasion </li></ul><ul><li>In long-term, what does neuroimaging normatively change, esp. given behavioural and genetic information? </li></ul>
    3. 3. Definitions of privacy <ul><li>“ the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men” ( Olmstead v US , Brandeis dissenting 1928) </li></ul><ul><li>“ This Fundamental Right insofar authorizes each individual to determine on the circulation and the use of his own personal data. A limitation of this Right on ‘Informational Self-Determination’ will only be allowed in the case of prevalent public interest.” (German Constitutional Court 1983) </li></ul>
    4. 4. National security <ul><li>Surveillance: targeted v mass; 1984 </li></ul><ul><li>Torture: efficiency v inefficiency, slippery slope, reciprocity/consistency, long-term damage and dignity </li></ul>
    5. 5. Criminal justice <ul><li>Identification of criminal tendencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Family situation and childhood behaviour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-fulfilling prophecies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Self-incrimination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>False confessions and prisoner abuse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Polygraphs and truth serums </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evidential value </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accuracy and persuasiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Responsibility and culpability </li></ul><ul><li>Potential for and consequences of recidivism </li></ul><ul><ul><li>National DNA Database </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Education and employment <ul><li>Selection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on some measure of g or specific task performance, correlated with response speed? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personality profiles (patience, determination, creativity, fearlessness) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Predictive quality and discrimination </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Performance measurement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional autonomy v clocking in, communications surveillance ( Halford v UK ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Disciplinary action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to take risks and make mistakes essential to development of personality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can morality develop without ability to do wrong? (Brownsword & Yeung 2008) </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Healthcare and insurance <ul><li>Earlier diagnoses and improved treatment of mental illness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More specific but definite diagnoses of personality disorders? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Incidental Findings </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Notification of untreatable disease </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Compliance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compulsory treatment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Actuarial discrimination already permitted </li></ul>
    8. 8. Marketing and persuasion <ul><li>“ Persuasive” product and marketing design based on understanding of neural bases of consumer preferences </li></ul><ul><li>Subliminal advertising </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regulation preceded demonstration of efficacy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Broadcasting regulation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Persuasive nature” of audiovisual content is one justification for eg German system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Manchurian candidates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Politics has driven development of opinion polling </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. What does neuroimaging change? <ul><li>(Potentially) much greater insight into inner life of individuals – to a qualitatively different degree to existing behavioural and genetic monitoring technologies? </li></ul><ul><li>Sector-specific regulation developing through courts, RECs, healthcare purchasers etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Very little cross-sectoral regulation has yet emerged – likely for foreseeable future to come under Data Protection Directive and Charter of Fundamental Rights in EU </li></ul><ul><li>Abstract appeals to autonomy and dignity have minimal impact on the political process, although greater influence on constitutional courts </li></ul>
    10. 10. References <ul><li>R Anderson, I Brown, T Dowty, P Inglesant, W Heath & A Sasse (2009) Database State , Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust </li></ul><ul><li>I Brown & D Korff (2004) Privacy and law enforcement , Information Commissioner’s Office </li></ul><ul><li>R Brownsword & K Yeung, eds. (2008) Regulating Technologies , Hart </li></ul><ul><li>House of Lords Constitution Committee (2009) Surveillance: Citizens and the State , HL Paper 18-1 </li></ul><ul><li>J Illes, ed. (2006) Neuroethics , OUP </li></ul>