AI and Privacy Risks: Safeguarding Your Data in an Automated World

Posted: 20th July 2023

Look around you; the environment is abuzz with AI and its near-miraculous possibilities. AI or Artificial Intelligence enables a computer or machine to reason, learn, and act intelligently, like a human.

Indeed, ChatGPT and other generative AI technologies are spreading in almost every industry—from healthcare, banking, and manufacturing to the creative arts and consumer software.

But will this empowering new future that thrives on data give us our fundamental human right to privacy?

If similar thoughts cross your mind, your privacy concerns regarding artificial intelligence are natural. Your privacy is more important now than ever in this digital age.

What Are the Privacy Risks Associated With AI?

As per Pew Research surveys, one in four Americans are asked to agree to a privacy policy every day. Yet only 22% read privacy policies in their entirety.

Let’s consider AI services like ChatGPT, Google Cloud AI, Jupyter, Viso Suite, and Their privacy policies state they collect your personal information, the content you view or engage with, and even source data from social media platforms and public databases.

Moreover, your data is used to train their AI models.

So you may enjoy emails and presentations getting written in seconds; chat with a customer service bot; virtually try on accessories while shopping; or just Google as ads based on your interests follow you over the web.

These operations are lowered by your data that is collected every minute. If you deem it as artificial intelligence invading your privacy, you’re not wrong.

While AI companies claim your information is safe, numerous data breaches by cyber criminals have led to identity theft, financial loss, and damage to victims’ reputations worldwide.

Findings of Surfshark’s Global Data Breach Stats research show that the US has had over 2.6 Billion records exposed through data breaches since 2004.

And most AI models are trained on a large dataset from public sources, most of which are biased. This bias can lead to serious consequences, such as violation of your right to privacy.

Do our privacy laws apply to AI? According to the American Bar Association’s podcast on AI regulation in the US, at present, there is no comprehensive federal legislation dedicated solely to AI regulation.

The European Union has passed the AI Act, whereby the regulation would increase in proportion to the potential threat to privacy and safety that an AI system poses. Hopefully, this AI Act will catalyze the US, UK, and other countries to pass their laws too.

However, regulating AI and protecting privacy pose many challenges as AI algorithms are complex.

Secondly, most existing privacy laws are rooted in a notice-and-consent model of consumer choice. Privacy policies are an example, which customers consent to but seldom read in their entirety.

Also, individuals sold on the AI revolution may willingly divulge private information, defeating the purpose of ensuring data privacy from artificial intelligence.

Ideally, our new AI-driven future should also be ethics-driven to protect our data privacy. It must be safe, fair, unbiased, and beneficial to everyone. Creators and developers must train AI models using data that is diverse.

To earn our trust, AI models need to be transparent about the decisions made with our data. And with AI already replacing a considerable workforce, AI development should lead to the creation of better jobs.

Safeguarding Privacy in an AI-Driven World

You should have the choice to share the personal data you want. And AI companies must put enhanced data protection measures in place to ensure your information remains secure and private.

Privacy-By-Design principles should be integrated into all operations, in all activities and processing, thus ensuring data privacy protection throughout the life cycle of an AI system.

Moreover, robust laws and regulations should govern artificial intelligence models and new AI companies mushrooming around.

In the first-ever global standard developed by UNESCO, the Right to Privacy and Data Protection is among the 10 core principles of this recommendation for building AI technologies.

Your Role in Protecting Your Privacy

As per Surfshark’s Attitudes Towards Privacy Survey 2022, 90% of internet users agree that online privacy is important to them. And 32% state that the quality of services is more important than privacy.

If you must explore the latest AI technology to work faster, go for it. But take a few minutes to read its privacy policy. And look for the data sharing opt-out.

Start managing your privacy with the device in your hand or on your PC. Use a VPN for browsing and deny storage permissions to apps you don’t use.

Source: AI and Privacy Risks: Safeguarding Your Data in an Automated World (

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