Armanino Blog

Adopting AI While Embracing Data Privacy

by Pippa Akem
July 08, 2019

Data privacy infringement is among the reasons why organizations hold back from incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) tools into their environments. It is not easy to figure out often-nuanced privacy requirements.

The good news is that there can be a marriage between privacy and AI technology for all business types, sizes and revenue thresholds. For companies, AI tools are a source for insights that can be relied upon to drive productivity and nurture innovations. What privacy achieves is to provide that needed layer of assurance that you have not rationalized away common-sense practices that prevent abuses or misuses of data.

So, how can you adjust what you don't know, think you know, need to know and will discover about AI technology to recognize the privacy pitfalls? How can you help transform your organization's AI goals?

I had a recent conversation with a mentor at a top tech company about some of the trends they are seeing with companies embracing AI technology. This made me think about what could send a company exploring Al amidst privacy concerns into a spin—and how they could address this. Much can be gained by understanding the tool and points at which AI impacts privacy and being proactive with mitigating the risks.

Here's how to plan for data privacy and still innovate with AI technology:

  1. Learn what AI technology is about. Research known privacy and security issues to prepare for later downstream issues around privacy.
  2. Understand your organization's plans for the AI tool.
  3. Ask questions about how the AI tool will interact with systems that process personal data.
  4. Know the potential consequences for your customers, business partners and other individuals whose personal information circulate in those systems.
  5. Align the AI tool to privacy by design principles.
  6. Conform the AI tool to a privacy impact assessment process for privacy risk mitigation.
  7. Develop company guidance materials for use of the AI tool.
  8. Don't ignore the ethics surrounding AI technology.
  9. Align your team on data minimization.
  10. Know the what, why, how, and where of data collection; who has access; and how data is disposed of.
  11. Be transparent in what the AI tool does.
  12. Don't lose sight of industry best practices.

And finally, be brave! You can introduce AI tools into an organization while working to minimize privacy exposures.

You can learn more about our data privacy services here. To learn more about using AI in your organization, check out the Armanino AI Lab.

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