Tech giants working closely on AI compliance, says Data Protection Commission

Tech Giants Working Closely On Ai Compliance, Says Data Protection Commission
The DPC is the lead EU regulator for a number of major international tech firms, including Google, Meta, Microsoft, TikTok and OpenAI. Photo: PA Images
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The world's leading internet firms are engaging extensively with regulators in the European Union to ensure their artificial-intelligence products do not fall foul of data protection rules, Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) has said.

The DPC, which is the lead EU regulator for Google, Meta, Microsoft, TikTok and OpenAI, among others, said its broad powers had not yet been tested on AI, and it could in future force changes to business models to ensure data privacy is protected.


AI creates a number of potential issues for data privacy, the two top officials at the DPC said in an interview on Tuesday.

Regulators need to decide whether companies should be allowed to trawl the internet for public data to train AI models, and on what legal basis personal data can be used.

AI operators also need to explain that they can ensure individuals' data rights, including the right to erase their data. The risk of AI models giving incorrect personal data about individuals must also be addressed, the DPC officials said.

"There has been extensive engagement" from leading US tech firms including Google, Meta, TikTok, LinkedIn and OpenAI, Dale Sunderland, one of the DPC's two commissioners, said.


"They're seeking our views on some of their new products in the AI space, particularly the large language model space."

Google agreed to delay and make changes to its Gemini AI chatbot following consultations with the DPC, he added.

While Ireland is the lead regulator for most of the top US internet firms due to the location of their EU head offices in Dublin, other regulators can have a say in decisions via the European Data Protection Board, which is currently working on guidance on how AI should operate under EU data protection law, he explained.

From next months, AI model operators will have to comply with the EU's landmark new AI Act, but they will also have to comply with the EU's key data protection law, the General Data Protection Regulation, which can impose fines of up to 4 per cent of a firm's total global turnover.

"The power of national regulators, including us, is quite broad," the DPC's chair and commissioner Des Hogan said.

"If they haven't done proper due diligence around the impacts of new products or services ... they run that risk of having to change the design downstream."


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