Are inferences the next frontier of data protection? Social media and other technology companies are increasingly making inferences from data collected from individuals.

They may be able to infer protected attributes such as sexual orientation and race, as well as political opinions and how likely a user is to attempt suicide, or eligibility for loans and infer political stances on abortion.

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) imposes enhanced requirements and limitations on automated processing that involves profiling, but Oxford scholar Sandra Wachtel argues that the protection provided by GDPR on this is lacking.

Wachter suggests ‘a focus on how data is evaluated, not just collected, with a standard for the ‘right to reasonable inferences.

The newly passed California Consumer Privacy Act specifically includes inferences made from personal information collected as a category of personal information by itself and subjects this data to disclosure and to data access rights and may provide such enhanced protection to some extent.

Read the full story in Forbes.