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Europe’s new data privacy rules will prove difficult for companies using AI

Posted: 15 February 2017 | By Darcie Thompson-Fields

Europe’s data privacy rules could drastically affect businesses working with artificial intelligence. The new European Union’s rules related to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect in May 2018.

The new rules could pose problems for companies who are working with AI and expanding their operations in Europe. The gathering and use of data is fundamental in training artificial intelligence and using the technology to answer questions.

Thanks to the rise of IoT, companies from sports brands to pharmaceutical corporations are gathering more data than ever. The upcoming regulations crack down on data ‘profiling’, the ability of companies to use automation to determine characteristics of individual users.

Companies will have to very vigilant with how they handle and process their company data. If the EU deems a company’s use of data analytics to be discriminatory against certain groups of people, or if a business is unable to fix potential problems with their technologies, they face fines of up to 4% of their total revenue.

Speaking at the annual RSA cybersecurity conference in San Francisco yesterday (14/02), Cisco chief privacy officer Michelle Dennedy explained that companies are no longer simply stockpiling their data. They are now using various AI technologies to build software services that can automate processes.

She explained that companies may be at high risk of violating the EU regulation if they charge AI with the task of determining whether a person should receive a certain benefit such as financial advice.

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