The Protection of Human Rights in the Era of Artificial Intelligence

This page aims to create an environment where students can exchange their thoughts on AI and together look for solutions. We are now happy to post the first article submitted by Inna Levushevska, Law student at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich

Times change and so does the society that is regulated by law. Imagine these three parts of the human development – change, society and law – do not match: society is not ready for change, and the law is not ready to control society in the time of change. What happens then? The whole process of human development goes wrong. In the era of artificial intelligence, humanity confronts this problem. In our case, society seems to be ready for change but the law does not conform to it. Let’s look at it this way: your mother wants to buy a book about gardening online. Later, she sees advertisements for some useful things for plants on other websites. Is it bad or good? On the one hand, it’s great: she would rather see the advertisement of something she is interested in (gardening things) than the things that she doesn’t need at all (for example, new soccer boots). So-called targeting allows us to see what we want – everyone is a potential client for some kind of product, everyone represents an audience with some certain traits that make the promoted product interesting to him or her. On the other hand, the situation is not that positive. Targeting and assignment to a certain group requires the analysis of personal information: age, sex, race, interests, lifestyle, and status. Life. And here comes the question of the human rights. Does such analysis violate the law? History shows that the legal systems of leading countries are not that successful in confronting the use of personal data. Think of Mark Zuckerberg testifying in Washington before Senate as an example. The questions the senators asked and the confusion of the Facebook chairman reflected the misunderstanding between the parties: what was obvious for Zuckerberg was unclear for the senators. Can Facebook use private information? Yes. Does it use private information? Yes. Does Facebook provide information to some organizations? Yes. But isn’t the crime harder to commit when the government checks on your data in case you’re under suspicion? Sharing data is a big step towards the improvement of the international security. However, safety always reduces freedom. One thing stays clear: the law has to develop itself. The Information Privacy Law (or the Data Protection Law) has to be mentioned here. In May 2018, the European Union issued the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). These laws regulate the necessity of the stated purpose of the personal data usage, the accuracy of the information used, the sensitivity of the collected data (for example sexual orientation or religion) etc. Human rights include freedom. And the law has to develop itself to ensure this freedom. The GDPR, the renovation of the User Account Policies and other improvements show that society is on the right way: the problem is understood – now it’s time to find a solution.