‘Surprise Minimisation’

A little while ago I wrote a short post for the IAPP on the notion of ‘surprise minimisation’. In summary, I’m not that keen on it;

I’m left struggling to see the point of introducing yet another term in an already jargon-filled debate. Taken at face-value, recommending surprise minimisation seems no better than simply saying “don’t use data in ways people might not like”—if anything, it’s worse because it unhelpfully equates surprise with objection, and vice-versa. The available elaborations of the concept don’t add much either, as they seem to boil down to an ill-defined mixture of existing principles.

Why Surprise Minimisation is a Misguided Principle