Online Behavior Recognition: Can We Consider It Biometric Data under GDPR?

Alžběta Krausová

Abstract

Our everyday use of electronic devices and search for various contents online provides valuable insights into our functioning and preferences. Companies usually extract and analyze this data in order to predict our future behavior and to tailor their marketing accordingly. In terms of the General Data Protection Regulation such practice is called profiling and is subject to specific rules. However, the behavior analysis can be used also for unique identification or verification of identity of a person. Therefore, this paper claims that under certain conditions data about online behavior of an individual fall into the category of biometric data within the meaning defined by the GDPR. Moreover, this paper claims that profiling of a person can not only be done upon existing biometric data as biometric profiling but it can also lead to creation of new biometric data by constituting a new biometric template. This claim is based both on legal interpretation of the concepts of biometric data, unique identification, and profiling as well as analysis of existing technologies. This article also explains under which conditions online behavior can be considered biometric data under the GDPR, at which point profiling results in creation of new biometric data and what are the consequences for a controller and data subjects.

Keywords

Behavior Analysis; Behavior-based Tracking; Behavioral Biometrics; Biometric Data; General Data Protection Regulation; Personal Data; Privacy; Profiling; Unique Identification

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https://doi.org/10.5817/MUJLT2018-2-3


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