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Privacy, neuroimaging and public policy

Privacy, neuroimaging and public policy



Presented at Neuroethics, UCL, 8 May 2009

Presented at Neuroethics, UCL, 8 May 2009



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Privacy, neuroimaging and public policy Privacy, neuroimaging and public policy Presentation Transcript

  • Privacy, neuroimaging and public policy Dr Ian Brown, OII
  • Overview
    • Definitions of privacy
    • National security
    • Criminal justice
    • Education and employment
    • Healthcare and insurance
    • Marketing and persuasion
    • In long-term, what does neuroimaging normatively change, esp. given behavioural and genetic information?
  • Definitions of privacy
    • “ 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)
    • “ 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)
  • National security
    • Surveillance: targeted v mass; 1984
    • Torture: efficiency v inefficiency, slippery slope, reciprocity/consistency, long-term damage and dignity
  • Criminal justice
    • Identification of criminal tendencies
      • Family situation and childhood behaviour
      • Self-fulfilling prophecies
    • Self-incrimination
      • False confessions and prisoner abuse
      • Polygraphs and truth serums
    • Evidential value
      • Accuracy and persuasiveness
    • Responsibility and culpability
    • Potential for and consequences of recidivism
      • National DNA Database
  • Education and employment
    • Selection
      • Based on some measure of g or specific task performance, correlated with response speed?
      • Personality profiles (patience, determination, creativity, fearlessness)
      • Predictive quality and discrimination
    • Performance measurement
      • Professional autonomy v clocking in, communications surveillance ( Halford v UK )
    • Disciplinary action
      • Ability to take risks and make mistakes essential to development of personality
      • Can morality develop without ability to do wrong? (Brownsword & Yeung 2008)
  • Healthcare and insurance
    • Earlier diagnoses and improved treatment of mental illness
      • More specific but definite diagnoses of personality disorders?
    • Incidental Findings
      • Notification of untreatable disease
    • Compliance
      • Compulsory treatment
    • Actuarial discrimination already permitted
  • Marketing and persuasion
    • “ Persuasive” product and marketing design based on understanding of neural bases of consumer preferences
    • Subliminal advertising
      • Regulation preceded demonstration of efficacy
    • Broadcasting regulation
      • “ Persuasive nature” of audiovisual content is one justification for eg German system
    • Manchurian candidates
      • Politics has driven development of opinion polling
  • What does neuroimaging change?
    • (Potentially) much greater insight into inner life of individuals – to a qualitatively different degree to existing behavioural and genetic monitoring technologies?
    • Sector-specific regulation developing through courts, RECs, healthcare purchasers etc.
    • 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
    • Abstract appeals to autonomy and dignity have minimal impact on the political process, although greater influence on constitutional courts
  • References
    • R Anderson, I Brown, T Dowty, P Inglesant, W Heath & A Sasse (2009) Database State , Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust
    • I Brown & D Korff (2004) Privacy and law enforcement , Information Commissioner’s Office
    • R Brownsword & K Yeung, eds. (2008) Regulating Technologies , Hart
    • House of Lords Constitution Committee (2009) Surveillance: Citizens and the State , HL Paper 18-1
    • J Illes, ed. (2006) Neuroethics , OUP