Can AI Help Improve Digital Privacy and Detect Violations?

Data privacy risks to consider when using AI - FM

If you still aren’t aware of the digital privacy threats, it’s time to dive deeper into this intricate issue. Each time you surf the web looking for items to buy or new people to meet, your data gets recorded and stored. 

Your data, such as which websites you visit, your shopping preferences, financial information, is handled online, which does not always deliver the security we need. In addition to that, our data flows into massive databases that companies might fail to protect. Numerous companies monetize users’ data by sharing it with third parties. Because of that, there’s a general public concern over digital privacy. It has led to laws and legal repercussions that emphasized the need to control who can use that data and how they can use it. 

There are already bills that include penalties for such companies that exploit users’ data without their consent or knowledge. Elaborate privacy legislation could be a push in the right direction, such as GDPR, making tremendous impact on European citizens. However, other initiatives can work as ground-breaking assistants in catching potential culprits early on. One such suggestion is the use of AI (artificial intelligence). Researchers indicate that machines have the potential to make the internet more private, and we shall observe whether it might be the case. 

AI and digital privacy 

It is likely that not a lot of people associate AI with a technology that can potentially defend their data from misuse. In many instances, it is seen under a dimmer light: as one of the tools capable of elevating intrusive data collection. It can enable companies to identify and monitors users across multiple gadgets and in different environments. The worst-case scenario is that sheer volumes of data can be involved in deanonymizing users. Other privacy advocates worry that the AI could potentially assist in users’ classification or ranking. Certain details could be made to trigger different responses. Hence, people’s lifestyles can be greatly impacted by how high they are on that scale. 

However, let’s forget its potential impact on data mining techniques. After all, AI is all about the efficient accumulation, analysis, and categorization of data from a range of sources. While it can be used for speeding up and scaling user data collection, it can be employed for more benevolent purposes.

AI Needs Help to Understand Privacy Regulations

Many companies that operate over the internet are willing to get on board with new digital privacy bills. However, the internet is so big and continuously expanding that it’s tough to determine any violation in real-time. Instead, many threats tend to drag on, infecting millions of people along the way. By establishing a constant real-time analysis system, many violations would be stopped, or companies would be advised to change their operations.

One way of solving such a problem is to harness AI technologies and power, but this initiative isn’t without its problems. The biggest problem is the inability of smart machines to understand online privacy regulations generated by governments. Currently, humans are the ones reviewing whether privacy regulations are followed. Naturally, such processes are time-consuming, and incorrect automation of these tasks could lead to inaccuracies. 

This problem grows even more significant if we toss in demand to make these regulations and rules ambiguous by design to provide societies with a certain level of flexibility when implementing the regulations. 

It’s done to overcome cultural differences between countries and avoid creating vague law terms and allow a broader scope for potential modifications that could come in the future. AI machines don’t have the power to process such vagueness intuitively. 

In other words, they aren’t able to understand privacy the way internet users do. They need specific instructions and data sets to understand the rules on which privacy regulations are based. 

AI Scanning for Compliance

Scientists need to determine clear rules to allow AI-powered machines to clearly understand the regulations related to digital privacy, its importance, and how to protect it. After defining all the policies, rules, relations, properties, and key entities of a data privacy law, the next phase is to create AI-powered applications that scan for compliance to ensure the data privacy rules are being upheld. 

These applications’ main goal is to eliminate the need for manual work and significantly reduce the time it takes organizations to determine whether they comply with the latest digital privacy and data protection regulations. 

AI can help monitor data audit trails to see whether online organizations are complying with the rules. On the other hand, AI can also help individual internet users get an insight into their responsibilities and rights regarding the use of private data they share with third parties. 

Once AI-powered machines can understand all digital privacy policies, it will be much easier to automate repetitive compliance tasks that are still executed manually. That’s the moment when AI will finally be free to scan the entire internet for compliance while making all regulations regarding digital privacy more accessible and understandable to internet users. 

Conclusion

Ai is already present in everything we do, making our lives better (or worse) at every turn. It’s only natural to use its many applications for improving the digital privacy of internet users. AI has such immense potential that it can quickly scan the net to ascertain whether the existing e-commerce and tech companies comply with the latest privacy rules and regulations. 

However, until such innovations come into action, we might have to wait. For now, users must cope with the overwhelming tracking practices as best they can. One saving grace can be a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It is a tool that changes your IP address, encrypts your traffic, and makes your browsing anonymous. As a result, ISPs, government institutions, and marketers have limited options for monitoring you online. After all, it is not about having something to hide. It is about users’ rights to browse without dozens of third parties learning about their behavior as well. You can also opt for instant messaging apps that offer end-to-end encryption if you want to protect your communications. Additionally, privacy-focused browsers such as Brave offer incredible perks for reducing your digital footprints. 

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