AI and Data Protection Law
in Florian Martin-Bariteau & Teresa Scassa, eds., Artificial Intelligence and the Law in Canada (Toronto: LexisNexis Canada, 2021)
Posted: 3 Dec 2020
Date Written: November 2, 2020
Artificial intelligence (AI) drives demand for large quantities of data, including personal and human behavioural data. The links between personal data and many AI applications raise privacy concerns, as well as ethics and human rights issues. It is therefore unsurprising to see both the application of existing data protection laws in the AI context, and the amendment of those laws to address specific issues. Canada’s public and private sector data protection laws are outdated, and there have been numerous calls for their reform. Reforms must address both the need of organizations to access the large quantities of data needed for AI innovation as well as the imperative to properly protect the human right to privacy and data protection. In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has strengthened privacy protections and has provided new rights tailored specifically to the contexts of big data, AI, and automated decision-making. The looming GDPR adequacy assessment for Canada, combined with the genuine need to modernize Canadian data protection laws, means that reform is coming—most likely federally and provincially, and for public and private sectors. The high demand for data and the need for ways to share data that respect both privacy and ethical considerations have also driven a growing interest in new data-sharing frameworks, some of which could be supported by legislative amendments.
Keywords: AI, privacy, data protection, canada
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