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Although ‘1984’ is history, deep down most of us still have a ‘fear’ of ‘Big Brother’ and ‘self-willed’ robots

techUK has welcomed the ICO’s release of a discussion paper on “Big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data protection”.  This is the latest version of the ICO’s Big Data and Data Protection report first released in July 2014 and brings the ICO’s views up to date as the of big data analytics increases across all sectors.

In the foreword the Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, highlights the unique & relevant role of the ICO in providing “the right framework for the regulation of big data, AI and machine learning”.

The paper considers in detail the implication of big data, AI & machine learning for data protection and explains the ICO’s current views on these technologies.  In addition to defining what is meant by big data, AI & machine learning, the paper includes the ICO’s views on live issues of discussion including data ethics, algorithmic transparency and GDPR implementation.

The ICO’s paper includes a number of key recommendations for organisations to consider when they are using big data, machine learning and AI tools and solutions, including;

  • Embedding a privacy impact assessment framework into big data processing activities
  • Adoption of a privacy by design approach in the development & application of big data analytics
  • Developing ethical principles to help reinforce key data protection principles
  • Implementation of innovative techniques to develop auditable machine learning algorithms
  • Using innovative approaches to provide meaningful privacy notices at appropriate stages throughout a big data project.
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