Global Privacy Regulators Issue Declaration on Ethics and Data Protection in Artificial Intelligence

This post is in: November 29, 2018

Regulators strike a permanent Working Group on Ethics and Data Protection in Artificial Intelligence

At the 40th annual International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, held in Brussels in October of this year, the Commissioners adopted a significant declaration regarding privacy and artificial intelligence. The Privacy Commissioner of Canada was a co-sponsor, and issued the following statement:

“Technology must serve humankind, that is all individuals,” Commissioner Therrien says. “It is not an exaggeration to say that the digitization of so much of our lives is reshaping humanity. If we are not careful, it will be reshaped in ways that do not accord with our most fundamental rights and values.”

The Declaration crosses over between privacy, ethics and non-discrimination and includes the following main points:

  1. Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies should be designed, developed and used in respect of fundamental human rights and in accordance with the fairness principle...
  2. Continued attention and vigilance, as well as accountability, for the potential effects and consequences of, artificial intelligence systems should be ensured...
  3. Artificial intelligence systems transparency and intelligibility should be improved, with the objective of effective implementation...
  4. As part of an overall “ethics by design” approach, artificial intelligence systems should be designed and developed responsibly, by applying the principles of privacy by default and privacy by design...
  5. Empowerment of every individual should be promoted, and the exercise of individuals’ rights should be encouraged, as well as the creation of opportunities for public engagement...
  6. Unlawful biases or discriminations that may result from the use of data in artificial intelligence should be reduced and mitigated...

Along with the Declaration, the Commissioners announced a call for the development of common governance principles on artificial intelligence and struck a permanent working group on Ethics and Data Protection in Artificial Intelligence.