Companies Continue to Face Data Privacy Issues
Thu, April 22, 2021

Companies Continue to Face Data Privacy Issues

Several tech giants are facing AI privacy issues / Photo Credit: Alexander Limbach via Shutterstock


Several tech giants have faced privacy issues as they continue to leverage AI. Last year, people have seen how these issues continue to escalate. For instance, Bloomberg News, an international news agency headquartered in New York and a division of Bloomberg L.P., revealed that Amazon has workers that annotate thousands of hours of audio from Alexa-powered devices. Google and Apple were also found to have potential misuse of recordings collected to improve their Google Assistant and Siri, respectively.

Google has backed out of its plans to publish scans of chest X-rays over concerns that they contained personally identifiable information. Aside from that, the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, a division of the UK’s National Health Service, has provided Alphabet’s DeepMind with data on 1.6 million patients without their consent. These are some of the issues that AI has been encountering recently.

According to VentureBeat, an American technology website that publishes news, analysis, long-form features, interviews, and videos, the data sets for neural networks are at risk because they are usually stored in centralized repositories that are vulnerable to data breaches. While most people think that removing this vulnerability can be of great help, there’s another issue. Removing information from a data set doesn’t mean it can’t be re-inferred since AI is exceptionally good at recreating samples.

Fortunately, many countries have acknowledged the threats of these privacy issues. Laws at the state, local, and federal levels aim to make privacy a mandatory part of compliance management. There are also over a hundred bills that address privacy, cybersecurity, and data breaches that are pending or have already been passed in 50 US states, territories, and the District of Columbia. Also, the California Consumer Privacy Act, which is considered the most comprehensive of all laws, was signed into law roughly two years ago.

Additionally, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has been requiring companies to seek authorization before disclosing individual health information. EU’s General Privacy Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), an international framework, wants to give consumers greater control over personal data collection and use.