Thanks for the very comprehensive article. I disagree, however, regarding the idea (also held by Luciano Floridi) that data are constitutive of personal identity. I — and I assume most others — don’t believe a stranger’s memory of me “is me.” For sure there is a causal connection there, but this is independent of any ontological question. A photo of me is not me, but said photo can affect my self understanding when I engage with it. I suggest understanding personal data more as technologically-mediated memory traces, which represent phenomena in a structured representational space. These representational spaces are typically designed with pragmatic, not objective, understanding in mind. At least in formalist mathematics, we are free to use any mathematical representation to solve a “problem” so long as it does not lead to a contradiction. The question which must be asked at this point is how or why should math be constrained by ethical considerations of personal development.

Travis Greene. PhD Student in Business Analytics at the Institute of Service Science, National Tsing Hua University

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