ICO issues guidance on artificial intelligence and data protection

On 31 July the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) published its guidance on data protection issues around the use of artificial intelligence (AI). The ICO said its guidance was intended to help firms mitigate risks arising from a data protection perspective, explaining how data protection principles apply to AI projects without losing sight of the benefits such projects can deliver.

The guidance stresses that the legal principle of accountability requires organisations to account for the risks arising from their processing of personal data whatever its scale or scope. It also suggests methodologies for addressing the apparent conflict between AI and the principle of data minimisation.

‘The headline takeaway,’ the ICO notes in relation to its guidance, ‘is the value of considering data protection at an early stage. Mitigation of risks must come at the design stage. Retrofitting compliance as an end-of-project bolt-on rarely leads to comfortable compliance or practical products.’

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