Artificial Intelligence: Ethics, Regulations, Policies & Privacy Issues Explained

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology promises to automate and reshape business, commerce and consumer activities worldwide. But AI also triggers concerns about privacy, potential racial bias, security and plenty more.

As a result, the AI industry and governments worldwide will likely blend innovations with AI regulations. That means channel partners will need to maintain a careful balancing act — driving AI innovations while carefully considering customer privacy, data protection and other issues.

AI-related facial recognition technology is particularly controversial, since the underlying software shows rampant racial bias, according to a 2019 NIST study that evaluates the effects of race, age and sex on Facial Recognition Software.

To help channel partners understand the issues, this regularly updated blog describes AI viewpoints, milestones, shortcomings, ethical issues, potential biases, and emerging industry regulations.

Article Updates: Originally published January 21, 2020. Article updated regularly with news updates & related analysis.

Artificial Intelligence Regulations, Policies, Innovations & Viewpoints

Amazon AI Policies: Multiple updates…

  • Amid concerns that AI and facial recognition technology may lead to racial profiling, Amazon will no longer make its Rekognition software available to police departments over the next year. Amazon is hoping Congress steps up to regulate the facial recognition industry. Source: ChannelE2E, June 10, 2020.
  • Amazon has acquired seven AI companies since 2010. Source: PC Mag, July 24, 2020.
  • More than 20 civil rights groups and 10,000 supporters are protesting Amazon’s surveillance programs. Source: Fight for the Future, June 10, 2021.
  • Three U.S. senators, including Democrat Amy Klobuchar who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, wrote a letter to to express concern about its palm print recognition system, Source: Reuters, August 13, 2021.

American Civil Liberties Union: The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking information about the types of AI tools intelligence that government agencies are deploying, what rules constrain their use of AI, and what dangers these systems pose to equality, due process, privacy, and free expression. Source: ACLU, March 26, 2021.

Apple AI Policies: Multiple updates…

  • Apple acquired Xnor.AI recently and decided to terminate the work on Project Maven, an effort by the U.S. Department of Defense to use AI software to analyze imagery captured by military drones. Source: The Information, January 29, 2020.
  • Apple has acquired 20 AI companies since 2010. Source: PC Mag, July 24, 2020.

Australia AI Policies: Britain’s data watchdog and its Australian counterpart have joint investigation into the personal information handling practices of facial recognition technology company Clearview AI. Source: Reuters, July 9, 2020.

California AI Policies and Regulations: The California Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) recently took a major step towards regulating the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in connection with employment decision-making. Source: JD Supra, April 7, 2022.

Canada AI Policies: Canadian privacy authorities have launched an investigation into New York-based Clearview AI to determine whether the firm’s use of facial recognition technology complies with the country’s privacy laws, the agencies said. Source: Reuters, February 21, 2020.

ClearView AI: Britain’s data watchdog and its Australian counterpart have joint investigation into the personal information handling practices of facial recognition technology company Clearview AI. Source: Reuters, July 9, 2020.

Consumer Activism: A coalition of more than 40 consumer, privacy, and civil liberties organizations released a sign on letter to support to a campaign urging administrators to keep facial recognition technology off of college and university campuses. Fight for the Future, an organization that drives online protests, is deeply involved in the effort. The signers include the ACLU, FreedomWorks, National Center for Transgender Equality, Liberty Coalition, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Color of Change, Jewish Voice for Peace, Jobs with Justice, Consumer Federation of America, Mijente, Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood, and the National Immigration Law Center. Source: Fight for the Future, February 13, 2020.

European Union AI Policies: Multiple updates…

  • The European Union is considering banning facial recognition technology in public areas for up to five years, to give it time to work out how to prevent abuses. Source: Reuters, January 16, 2020.
  • What are the EU’s plans for regulating AI? Some perspectives are here. Source: SiliconRepublic, February 14, 2020.
  • The European Union unveiled proposals to regulate artificial intelligence that call for strict rules and safeguards on risky applications of the rapidly developing technology. Source: New York Post and Associated Press, February 19, 2020.
  • EU regulators unveiled plans aimed at placing more restrictions on machine learning-enabled technologies in fields ranging from public surveillance cameras to cancer scans and self-driving cars. Source: Wall Street Journal, February 19, 2020.
  • The European Union has published proposals on the regulation of artificial intelligence, which look to ensure a balance is struck between protecting consumers, and encouraging technological development. Source: Mondaq, October 30, 2020.
  • The European Union has proposed rules that would restrict or ban some uses of artificial intelligence within its borders, including by tech giants based in the U.S. and China. Source: Wired, April 21, 2021.
  • The European Union is advancing artificial intelligence regulations that could impact medical device and diagnostic companies around the world, a local report says. Through the policy, the EU plans to impose additional requirements on the use of AI in medtech and issue fines for noncompliance that could total billions of dollars, the report says. Source: MedTechDive, May 12, 2021.
  • The EU’s attempt to regulate open-source AI is counterproductive. Source: The Brookings Institute Fellow Alex Engler, August 25, 2022.

Continue to next page for more updates, sorted alphabetically.

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    Sadi Vural:

    Face recognition must be regulated to certain rules but it is still too difficult to do regulation.

    Joe Panettieri:

    Sadi: Thank you for your comment and readership. Do you represent Ayonix? If so, has the company taken any steps to address potential facial recognition technology issued raised in the article above?

    Sadi Vural:

    Joe: No, We have not taken any step to address the issues yet.
    Industry is very sensitive and US congress is very busy. We have to wait.

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