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United States Privacy Digest | Notes from the IAPP, Oct. 8, 2021 Related reading: Notes from the IAPP, Oct. 1, 2021

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Greetings privacy professionals.

It’s been an exciting week with lots of new developments — both internally at the IAPP and more broadly in the world of privacy.

Most of you have probably heard already about the departure from IAPP of Omer Tene, who started this week in his new role as a partner at Goodwin Procter, and the promotion of Caitlin Fennessy, CIPP/US, as IAPP’s new VP and Chief Knowledge Officer. These career moves and many more reflect the realities of the hot job market and heightened demand for privacy professionals today.

In the world of privacy, more broadly speaking, the pace of change did not let up. An issue cropping up more and more on lawmakers’ and regulators’ agendas is the regulation of artificial intelligence. One of the top stories on AI this week included plans by Clearview AI to improve its artificial intelligence for police surveillance, including new features like “deblur” and “mask removal” that aim to defeat the privacy-preserving techniques of blurring faces in photos, wearing masks to a protest, etc., that have raised alarm bells for privacy advocates and sparked class actions.

But this company is far from an outlier in trying to take advantage of the tools that AI offers. A survey by Gartner found that 36% of government agencies have plans to increase their investments in machine learning and artificial intelligence this year. In light of this uptake of AI, the World Economic Forum’s white paper, "A Policy Framework for Responsible Limits on Facial Recognition," seems to come at the right moment. The framework proposes nine principles as well as a self-assessment questionnaire to ensure law enforcement agencies have introduced risk mitigation into their facial recognition processes.

Yet, a comprehensive framework for regulating emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence remains absent in the U.S. On the other sides of the ponds, though, Europe and Asia are taking steps forward in the AI arena. China’s Ministry of Science and Technology released its New Generation Artificial Intelligence Ethics Specifications in pursuit of China’s aims to become the global leader in AI by 2030. Meanwhile, EU Parliament MEPs issued a statement this week opposing the police use of artificial intelligence in public places and “predictive policing” — which was foreshadowed nearly 20 years ago in Spielberg’s classic "Minority Report." The MEPs’ statement may give some indication of how the Parliament will negotiate over the AI Act, which would restrict the use of facial recognition by police in public places except to combat “serious” crimes. Certainly, there is a lot to follow and a lot more to come in the future of AI regulation.

I hope you all have a nice, refreshing weekend.

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