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New Zealand Privacy Commissioner Advocates Privacy Protection Amidst AI Adoption

Krishi Chowdhary Journalist Author expertise
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NZ Privacy Commissioner Advocates AI Privacy Protection

Regulators of various countries met at the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities forum in Mexico, committing to seek greater scrutiny of AI and its disruption of user privacy.

At a time when widespread AI adoption sparked debates concerning users’ privacy, New Zealand has focussed on the importance of protecting privacy.

While speaking at the forum, Michael Webster, the Privacy Commissioner of New Zealand, called for increased scrutiny of AI and its impact on privacy. Webster emphasized the collaborative role of regulators to ensure that AI is adopted within the legal frameworks in place.

Michael also highlighted the significance of regulators across borders working together to resolve privacy concerns. His approach aims to encourage potential AI users to pause and reflect on the adoption of new and evolving technologies.

Besides, it brings the necessary space for policymakers to understand the need for new regulations. These laws should ensure users’ safety by fostering the responsible use of AI.

A collaborative effort among global regulators is the need of the hour to ensure data privacy amidst the uncontrolled use of AI.

By working together, regulators can more effectively hold organizations operating across country borders accountable within the requirements of the existing law.Michael Webster

In this context, Webster focussed on the priority for AI developers and users to comply with privacy laws. He also highlighted the united stance of regulators in securing privacy rights when different sectors of society are adopting AI.

How To Tackle The Misuse Of Personal Information By AI?

Interestingly, New Zealand’s technology-neutral legislation has adapted to technological advancements. As per the existing laws in New Zealand, its citizens can file complaints through the usual channels to Privacy Commissioner in the event of misuse of personal information.

Webster has also outlined expectations and issued seven points of advice for organizations in New Zealand that have been using generative AI.

Webster’s seven-point guidelines to ensure the responsible use of AI include:

  • Obtaining approval from senior leadership and involving privacy officers in the decision-making process
  • Evaluating the need and purpose of using generative AI in different cases
  • Carrying out a Privacy Impact Assessment to seek feedback from the affected parties
  • Being transparent with consumers about the privacy risks of generative AI
  • Establishing accuracy verification procedures and responding to requests for data access
  • Ensuring human reviews before making any decision based on AI outputs
  • Protecting confidential and personal data from AI tools by using alternative methods like data anonymization

These guidelines aim to facilitate responsible engagement with AI while upholding individual privacy rights of individuals.

As emphasized by Webster, collaborative efforts from regulators will go a long way in ensuring data accountability. While AI technologies will dominate different industries in the future, it’s imperative to uphold the privacy rights of individuals.

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Krishi Chowdhary Journalist

Krishi Chowdhary Journalist

Krishi is an eager Tech Journalist and content writer for both B2B and B2C, with a focus on making the process of purchasing software easier for businesses and enhancing their online presence and SEO.

Krishi has a special skill set in writing about technology news, creating educational content on customer relationship management (CRM) software, and recommending project management tools that can help small businesses increase their revenue.

Alongside his writing and blogging work, Krishi's other hobbies include studying the financial markets and cricket.

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