Automated decision making and profiling

Does a computer make desicions which have influence on your life?


If a decision is taken automatically, i.e. without human intervention, during the processing of personal data, this is referred to as an 'automated decision.' For example, a system might decide whether or not someone is credit worthy. So, without any human having looked at it, an attempt is made to make a prediction about you.

This practice can be very useful, for example in saving time and money, making certain services more widely avaiable. But also come with various risks. We inreasingly hear about issues of exclusion, stigmatisation, discrimination or a general lack of transparency and accountability on how these decision come about.

That's the the GDPR regulation asks organizations to explicitly state if they use this practise. And it's why it's one of the uses you can select in the Privacy Label.



A website might track your online behaviour to create a profile on you and anticipate on your future purchases. The data collected for advertising purposes might flow into other organizations with very different goals.


A self-learning algorithm might make decisions on what medication you'll get for your disease, or what the chances are you'll pay back a loan.