Algorithmic abstractions of ‘fashion identity’ and the role of privacy with regard to algorithmic personalisation systems in the fashion domain

Daria Onitiu*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This paper delves into the nuances of ‘fashion’ in recommender systems and social media analytics, which shape and define an individual’s perception and self-relationality. Its aim is twofold: first, it supports a different perspective on privacy that focuses on the individual’s process of identity construction considering the social and personal aspects of ‘fashion’. Second, it underlines the limitations of computational models in capturing the diverse meaning of ‘fashion’, whereby the algorithmic prediction of user preferences is based on individual conscious and unconscious associations with fashion identity. I test both of these claims in the context of current concerns over the impact of algorithmic personalisation systems on individual autonomy and privacy: creating ‘filter bubbles’, nudging the user beyond their conscious awareness, as well as the inherent bias in algorithmic decision-making. We need an understanding of privacy that sustains the inherent reduction of fashion identity to literal attributes and protects individual autonomy in shaping algorithmic approximations of the self.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1749–1758
Number of pages10
JournalAI and Society
Volume37
Issue number4
Early online date10 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022

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