One of the podcasts that I regularly subscribe to has a great interview with Eric Siegel a leading figure in the area of predictive analytics on the topic of the benefits of this area and the potential risks to privacy.
I attended one of Eric Siegel’s classes in Washington DC a few years back and have followed his conference Predictive Analytics World since.
The interview is a nice balance on the benefits that predictive analytics can provide and the risks to our privacy. As a practitioner in this area I am very sensitive to how data can be used for both good and not so good.
Eric’s recent book (Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die) features the case of Hewlett Packard and their use of predictive analytics to score their employees based on their likelihood to look for another job. Eric’s article in the recent Analytics Magazine is a must read on the downside of this approach. Another better known case of the potential for privacy infringement is the now famous Target pregnancy prediction case which started with a presentation at the Predictive Analytics World conference.
In my view the privacy of the individual must be respected with any analytics initiative and that privacy implications must be carefully thought through.