Canada’s privacy commissioner asks for input to address AI privacy concerns

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) is asking industry stakeholders to bring forward their concerns and ideas to address the privacy issues of AI in Canada.

The announcement states that they are currently engaged in legislative reform policy analysis of both federal privacy laws.

The OPC said that they realize the challenges that AI poses and that “responsible innovation involving artificial intelligence systems must take place in a regulatory environment that respects fundamental rights and creates the conditions for trust in the digital economy to flourish.”

Aaron Shum, practice lead and executive advisor, security, risk and compliance at Info-Tech Research Group, said in the case of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), such a request is needed to bring the regulations up to par with the complexities of the issue.

“This call for public input on protecting privacy rights under AI is a common technique used by other privacy regulators and standard bodies, as a crowd-sourcing of concerns and variables that can help the regulator understand the various viewpoints from citizens, private industries and from industry experts,” said Shum in an email to IT World Canada. “In its (PIPEDA) current form there will be no feasible way to leverage it to enforce privacy rules in technologies like AI. Ultimately, because of the enormous data input that is needed for AI to function autonomously, and with true AI making decisions that can affect the rights of people, there are a host of ethical, regulatory, and operational considerations that must go into AI development.”

The OPC has asked stakeholders to submit their suggestions by March 13, 2020.

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Buckley Smith
Buckley Smith
Staff writer for IT World Canada. Covering the world of technology as it applies to business. Buckley is an avid sports fan who loves travel, food, and music. Can be contacted at [email protected] or 416-290-2000.

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