Data Analytics as Predictor of Character or Virtues, and the Risks to Autonomy


  • Harald Weston


Can we measure and predict character with predictive analytics so a business can better assess, ideally objectively, whether to lend money or extend credit to that person, beyond current objective measures of credit scores (when available) and standard financial metrics like solvency and debt ratios? We and the analysts probably do not know enough about character to try to measure it, though it might be more useful to measure and predict a person’s temperance and prudence as virtues, or self-control as psychology, or sense of obligation, particularly a moral commitment or sense of duty to honor a contract and re-pay a loan. The pervasive data surveillance of people that goes with “big data” and predictive analytics is not only an invasion of privacy in general, but an impairment of the aspect of privacy called autonomy that will constrict and alter a person’s choices and development of self.




How to Cite

Weston, Harald. 2016. “Data Analytics As Predictor of Character or Virtues, and the Risks to Autonomy”. The International Review of Information Ethics 24 (May). Edmonton, Canada.