AI is here to stay but controls are needed

As I read about a new NASA AI system called Sentry-II, developed to evaluate the threats posed by near-Earth asteroids, I received an article for this issue about the United Nations’ report on AI and Privacy in the Digital Age. Even if we are not talking about life and death scenarios with asteroids, AI is bringing unexpected advances to us. But of course we must control AI before it controls us, and make sure to mitigate any threats to privacy and other human rights.

Synthetic data may play an important role in the future of AI, as it can be shared more freely, with fewer administrative hurdles than identifiable personal data. Legislators and DPAs alike are stepping up to the technological challenges. Some DPAs are fortunate enough to have technological advisers. Some governments, as in the UK, have recently issued a forward-looking national data strategy. In Germany, the new coalition government is proposing many innovations that would also have an impact on privacy.

The global DPA conference, organised by Mexico’s DPA in October, also discussed the threats in using AI and data analytics. It is a shame that the conference had to be convened virtually. Nevertheless, several resolutions were adopted. In 2022, the DPAs will meet in Turkey with Mexico currently holding the Chair’s position.

On the legislative front, the United Arab Emirates has adopted a federal-level data protection law, Hong Kong has adopted a broad anti-doxxing law and Australia has proposed an Online Privacy Bill to target social media giants.

We also report on the latest data protection developments in Mexico, a €400,000 fine in France on Monsanto and the ASEAN Model Contractual Clauses.

Seasons greetings and a Happy New Year from all of us at Privacy Laws & Business.

Laura Linkomies
Editor, Privacy Laws & Business

December 2021