Working Paper on Intersection between AI, Cross Border Data Flow and Privacy

The Dialogue, an emerging public-policy think tank, today delivered a conference on the AI, Privacy and Cross-Border data flows and also released a Working Paper titled “Intersection of Artificial Intelligence with Cross-Border Data Flow and Privacy”, here at Constitution Club of India. The conference saw participation from more than twenty speakers from law, technical and policy backgrounds. The findings of the paper suggest that the growth in the number of connected devices is fueling data-driven innovations that have helped humanity solve our challenges and drive prosperity. Data is going to drive the economies of the future, and in a data-driven regime, the idea of privacy takes center stage to protect the interest of consumers and citizens alike. Cloud computing services are providing secure, cost-effective, and scalable ways for companies to access and analyze this data, which is critical for AI and other data-driven techniques that empower consumers and workers, make businesses more agile and competitive and boost the competitiveness.

Kazim Rizvi, Founding Director of The Dialogue, stated:

“This paper addresses two key challenges – enabling cross-border data flows to drive AI and ensuring that high-level privacy standards are complied with during the deployment of machine learning technologies. For India to emerge as a leader in AI, it is crucial to meet both these challenges, which have been addressed in detail in the paper. It is indeed possible to harness the potential of AI while maintaining privacy of citizens, while at the same time, we must ensure that data is allowed to flow across borders to give our technologists, scientists, engineers and developers the best possible opportunity to leverage AI for India’s development.”

The insights generated from predictive analytics through machine learning tools are possible because of access to a significant amount of data. The AI algorithm learns from all the data it has available. Analytics analysis these sets to uncover hidden patterns, correlations and new insights. It helps business to stay competitive by making smarter choices, enhance efficiency and subsequently improve productivity, which leads to higher profits and market capitalization. In order to achieve this, organizations must be able to collect data from across regions to achieve a complete picture of their operations. Every day, large amounts of data flow course through the internet, over borders and between individuals, firms, and governments to power the internet and associated technologies. This data may originate from many sources located in multiple jurisdictions, making it imperative that data can move freely across borders.

Privacy by design techniques should also be incorporated due to the ubiquity of data collection policies. With rising data collection and storage, doctrinal notions around ‘consent’ and ‘privacy notices’ should be considered. Privacy by design techniques can be incorporated at the level of privacy notices but also at each level of information flow till its storage and processing stage. Further notions of transparency, accountability, and fairness must be incorporated. While there can be no strict set of rules or policy guidelines which can bound an algorithm designer, but, best practices following constitutional standards jurisdiction-wise can be developed as a benchmark.

So for continued AI growth, it is fundamental that its deployed with ‘privacy by design’ in mind. Presently, we are still in the nascent stages, worldwide, of AI development, and this is the right time to ensure that AI technologies comply with global privacy laws. The answer to the question as to whether it is possible to use AI, and protect people’s data while doing so, is yes. It is both possible and necessary in order to safeguard fundamental personal data protection rights.

Kindly find the link to the paper here – Intersection of AI with Cross-Border Data Flow and Privacy


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India is marred with a complex social, economic and political structure, which requires innovative solutions to solve the most difficult problems of today. India is also a land of opportunities despite its challenges, mainly due to its demographic dividend and cultural diversity. The Dialogue is founded with the vision of harnessing the opportunities present in India today by reinventing the policy and political discourse in order to drive a forward looking narrative for the country.