Everything Is Not Terminator: Public-Facing Artificial Intelligence Policies – Part 1

Weaver, JohnBy John Weaver

For some time now—in response to the California Online Pri­vacy Protection Act, Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, and similar statutes and regulations from other jurisdictions—any company with any web presence to speak of has provided a public-facing privacy policy on its website, explaining what it does with each user’s information, how it com­plies with the relevant laws, what rights users have to access their information, etc. These policies have become much more promi­nent in 2018, as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation became effective and thousands of companies notified their contact lists that their privacy policies had been updated.

Although artificial intelligence is not nearly as well regulated as data privacy and is, in fact, hardly regulated at all, there are some requirements, expectations, and norms that are emerging from a combination of expert opinion, pending legislation, and the limited black-letter law. In response, we have begun advising clients about AI policies. These are public-facing policies that state certain information about how companies use AI in their business operations.

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Does Your Targeted Advertising Violate the GDPR?

Weaver, JohnBy John Weaver

Targeted advertising has emerged as one of the most important marketing tools of the last decade. It relies on data analysis of users or viewers in order to help the advertising company identify the most receptive audience and show advertising only to that demographic. In early forms, the advertising company selected a program or publication that was known to be popular among the desired audience: sports car ads went in Popular Mechanics to appeal to adult males; family wagon ads ran during Family Ties to appeal to adults with children; etc. This still exists, but online activity and mobile device usage has vastly improved the ability of marketers to identify and target key audiences in those mediums. Instead of appealing to broad demographics like adult males or adults with children, marketers can identify much more specific audiences: college-educated women between the ages of 39 and 50 with incomes between $50,000 and $100,000; males between the ages of 14 and 18 that have recently read The Ringer; etc.

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