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Artificial Intelligence and Privacy

Artificial Intelligence is composed of a series of computer systems, emulating human cognitive activity.

Computer systems are based on learning algorithms, which, over the time and through constant use, are becoming increasingly reliable and useful; AI is in fact assuming an increasingly important role in different areas, including social and economic and one of the potentialities that is highly profitable and beneficial for humans is the ability of this system to make predictions.

Nevertheless, this ability can be seen as a positive factor, as well as a negative one; in this regards, AI faces a series of problems, challenges and risks. Some of the issues that must be analyzed are: data security and reliability, the protection of personal data, ethical and legal issues and privacy protection.

AI systems are intended to analyze a large amount of personal data; it is therefore necessary to identify a series of rules, aimed at ensuring that this processing takes place in compliance with privacy.

Data processing concerns

The importance of systems that protect personal data is enormous; , many people, however, still remain skeptical of AI’s abilities, and remain wary of entrusting their data to these systems.

Many people are “scared” of the enormous potential of AI and also see their privacy violated: AI has already been accused: the content that is shown to a certain user is the same with which he has interacted in the past, instead of creating a platform and a vast, differentiated system.

A further concern is that AI can, from the data provided, deduce many other pieces of information, including strictly personal data. It is thought that, if not programmed correctly, AI can threaten the right to privacy: it is already used, for example, for online profiling and there is fear that it can collect confidential information about a user without being fully aware of it.

The security of AI systems

Despite shared fears about the potential of AI, the ability of this technology lies in selecting useful data and information, while discarding the rest. In order to prevent AI from creating a series of problems and given the rapid evolution of systems, in 2019 the European Union has come to equip itself with a European Regulation for Artificial Intelligence.

The Regulation guarantees the accuracy, safety and robustness of AI systems and is based on several fundamental principles:

  1. Respect for human autonomy: although artificial intelligence is making enormous progress, is creating advantages and improving the quality of life, it must always be subjected to human control.
  2. Principle of data prevention: algorithms must be reliable and secure and must not adversely affect individuals.
  3. Principle of fairness: users must have full control over their data. Every individual has the right to know about the existence of automated decision-making processes concerning him or her.
  4. Principle of explainability: AI systems must be transparent and ethical.


In conclusion, a concern regarding the processing of personal data and the protection of one’s privacy is understandable; however, it is important to underline how AI is developing these systems with the ultimate aim of improving the quality of life of the humans, and not being an obstacle for them.