Published April 27, 2018 | Version preprint
Conference paper Open

Ease and Ethics of User Profiling in Black Mirror

  • 1. ADAPT Centre, Trinity College Dubln


The use of personal data is a double-edged sword that on one side provides benefits through personalisation and user profiling, while the other raises several ethical and moral implications that impede technological progress. Laws often try to reflect the shifting values of social perception, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) catering to explicit consent over use of personal data, though actions may still be legal without being perceived as acceptable. Black Mirror is a TV series that serves to imagine scenarios that test the boundary of such perceptions, and is often described as being futuristic. In this paper, we discuss how existing technologies have already coalesced towards calculating a probability metric or rating as presented by the episode 'Nosedive'. We present real-world instances of such technologies and their applications, and how they can be easily expanded using the interminable web. The dilemma posed by the ethics of such technological applications is discussed using the 'Ethics Canvas', our methodology and tool for encouraging discussions on ethical implications in responsible innovation.



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ADAPT: Centre for Digital Content Platform Research 13/RC/2106
Science Foundation Ireland