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AI-Enabled Data Collection and the Regulatory Landscape 

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Security Magazine – by Boris Khazin

AI-Enabled Data Collection and the Regulatory Landscape 

As the world embarks on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, one major contributor is Artificial Intelligence (AI), specifically its ability to collect, process and analyze massive quantities of data at incredible speeds. Already, innovative enterprises are utilizing various AI tools and methodologies, such as web crawling, social media monitoring and digital analytics to anticipate emerging trends, deliver highly personalized customer services and boost productivity through finely tuned business operations. While it is undeniable that AI has elevated the value of data, the unprecedented level and sophistication of these collection activities have given rise to a new and growing regulatory landscape. 

The Risks of Using Personally Identifiable Information

AI can analyze and utilize customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) in ways that could infringe on an individual’s privacy. A 2023 poll from Pew Research on Americans and data privacy reveals that consumers are wary of the implications of AI-driven data collection activities. In particular, 81% of those surveyed who expressed an awareness or knowledge of AI said that companies using AI to collect data would use it in a way that would make them uncomfortable. Eighty percent feared companies would use the collected data contrary to its original intent. Nevertheless, 61% admitted that personal data collected through AI could make their lives easier.

AI and PII concerns can fall into two categories: input and output concerns. The former category involves using large datasets and tools that contain PII. If the proper guardrails are not in place, there is a risk that AI-generated outputs could unintentionally expose sensitive information. And, as data becomes more valuable to enterprises, so too does it become more attractive to cyber criminals who benefit from stealing it. The latter concern deals with AI using PII to arrive at automated conclusions, such as denying someone access to a loan based on biased algorithms. Although this concern doesn’t specifically touch on data privacy per se, it does involve the misuse of PII.   

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