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techUK Welcomes ICO Discussion Paper on Big Data and AI

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The paper elaborates on the Information Commissioners Office's views on the implications of big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning for data protection.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) have released 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 and 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 and 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 and machine learning, the paper includes the ICO’s views on live issues of discussion including data ethics, algorithmic transparency and GDPR implementation. These are all areas which techUK is working on. 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. These recommendations include:

  • Embedding a privacy impact assessment framework into big data processing activities
  • Adoption of a privacy by design approach in the development and 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.

As the ICO paper states, the publication of this paper is “not the end” of the ICO’s work on data protection and big data analytics. techUK will be engaging with the ICO to discuss how we can support their work on big data, AI and machine learning as the adoption of these technologies, and the ICO’s thinking, continue to develop and evolve.

Members interested in more information on techUK’s engagement with the ICO on these issues or other areas such as GDPR implementation should get in touch with Jeremy Lilley and Sue Daley.

 

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