Machine learning in a world of GDPR and new e-Privacy Regulation
Binary big brother eye

We’ve all taken GDPR on board now, haven’t we? Well, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

Machine learning and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) is on the rise in business – see Highlights from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report 2018 which shows IT spend is small but rapidly rising in the world of enterprise – and the regulatory landscape is running to catch up.

There has been no place to hide from GDPR, for example: Europe’s General Data Protection Rule, which has modernised data processing laws for the digital era.

It’s taken a long for these privacy laws to come into effect and give a measure of protection to EU citizens. But how will GDPR and follow-on laws such as the EU ePrivacy Regulation (ePR) which will concentrate specifically on how company’s electronic communications data are transmitted – yes, there’s more regulation on its way  – affect the growing use of machine learning?

One impact is that people will need to give specific permission to allow their data to be used for machine learning, as this data needs to be collected over time and be involve voluminous data sets (big data!) to be able to ‘teach’ the machines. This goes against data protection requirements not to process personal data for longer than is necessary for the purpose at hand.

  • Will people give this permission?
  • What will happen if the amount of data collected is reduced to no longer be a representative data set?
  • Will this stop machine learning progressing as a field?
  • Are people sick of clicking on those forms?
  • How long can companies justify keeping personal data for machine learning purposes when there are already restrictions on not keeping it past its stated use in place?
  • How can companies carry out ‘right to be forgotten’ compliance in a machine learning environment?

Lots of questions, no easy answers.

You can read more about GDPR and privacy impacts on machine learning here: GDPR after 2 months – What does it mean for Machine Learning?

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