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Artificial Intelligence and the Struggle for Privacy: Who Will Win?

In this article, we will talk about the relationship between AI and privacy. Moreover, we will cover the role of artificial intelligence in data and privacy.


The battle between pervasive AI and privacy is becoming more of a concern today than ever before. The struggle is all the more real as unassuming smart device usage is the biggest source of data for big tech companies, who mine data like mining any other resource in the world. 

Data is touted to be the new oil.

Every time we log onto any social media, use our smartphones, browse the internet, or just keep our smartphones connected to WiFi/Data – we are being tracked, and quite possibly monitored through our cameras and mics.

This raises the question, of how much information are we providing to these tech companies without our knowledge. As so as we click on “Agree to the Terms and Conditions”, we have probably given our rights away and implicitly accepted to be tracked every step of the way. 

As soon as we allow social media to access our cameras, mics, and photo galleries, we have permitted them to scour our phones. All this is to make AI more intelligent. It helps to tailor ads and features best suited to our needs. In this article, we will focus on how AI is impacting data and privacy. 

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AI and the power it wields

As AI is becoming increasingly sophisticated, it is constantly being upgraded by collating and analyzing data it collects through numerous sources. It is becoming stronger and helps to automate manual tasks, making them faster and more efficient.

There are significant benefits to using AI which spans every sector of today’s high-tech world. Be it Fintech, HealthTech, EduTech and so on. It has revolutionized the way we work, no doubt, however, the challenges are no less concerning. AI can collect and analyze data from a plethora of sources which then helps generate a user profile. This helps companies push targeted recommendations – however, at what cost?

The Real Struggle For Privacy

What about the issue of AI and privacy? How many times does one feel that thought pop into our minds and the next thing we know, we have an ad on the social media platform we are using? This led to questions being raised as to whether we are being “followed”. 

We are being tracked through our various online behaviors as well as whatever we speak, and whatever location we are at. This constant monitoring has led to individuals being extremely weary of how their data is being sold to third-party organizations, governments, or even advertising agencies.

Our data is no longer our own, but a shared commodity. This has made people fight back to retain ownership of their data and the privacy that they deserve. 

Steps have been taken by individuals, which include using VPNs, and quitting social media platforms among others, however, is that enough? AI is only becoming more and more intelligent which then circumvents all our struggle for data and privacy.

The Role of the Government

Breach of privacy is a huge challenge that needs to be taken up by the highest echelons of the government. As even they are not safe from the clutches of AI tracking.

The right to privacy is a human right, protected under several laws and regulations, including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States. More laws – help find the right balance between data collection and analysis and the right to data privacy and data sharing. There must be more transparency in how data is collected and shared and with whom, to make individuals more comfortable with the idea of how AI is being utilized.

Whether or not regulations (strict or lax) can curb AI from being more pervasive and invasive, is also up for debate. This is only because AI is dynamic and constantly finding new pathways to being more intrusive and intelligent at collecting, analyzing, and distributing.

Privacy – Data Sharing – AI – and Their Future

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already generating new and vital insights from enormous amounts of data. This enables an increasing number of smart assets to operate autonomously.

Christian Schloegel, AI and Data Sharing: shaping the Future of the manufacturing industry

It should be a collective effort between government/regulatory bodies and individuals to minimize the breach of privacy. The former can ensure oversight and more stringent rules on how and what data can be collected and individuals can reduce the information they put out onto the internet.

Companies can also make a more concerted effort to reduce the malpractice of data collection and distribution.

These can include – collecting only the data required, and not as much data as possible. Increase transparency and ensure individuals consent to how and what is being collected and what is shared beyond the collection point. To ensure privacy barriers from the outset take preventive action, rather than curative action when problems arise.

Another major concern is malpractice and data hacking. To make the whole process more ethical, anti-hacking measures need to be ensured so that individuals are not hit by another problem. Systems need to be secured to detect and respond to any and every potential data breach to protect the individual’s data and privacy.

Only with a concerted effort among all stakeholders, can there be a more ethical way for AI, data, and privacy to co-exist in the future.

Chances of Biases and Discrimination

AI is only as good as the data provided. If the data is not robust and widespread or if it has an inherent bias, discrimination is bound to happen. Even if the tool is intelligent enough. 

The more biased data fed into AI, the more biased the results. The challenge, thus, is to ensure the data provided has as little discriminatory information as possible, by being more inclusive, unbiased, and diverse. The more such data is fed into AI, the more intelligent it gets, and the bias and discrimination problem is mitigated.

Solutions to Coexistence

If there is a problem, there are potential solutions too. To address the struggle for privacy in the age of AI several measures can be taken to ensure the latter does not railroad the former.

Incorporating Privacy Through Design

“To break away from the tendency to protect data access at all costs, organizations must recast their data management practice from an IT-driven, cost center function into a business-driven, revenue function.”

Using ‘Data-Sharing’ to Make Smarter Decisions at Scale

From the get-go, companies need to ensure that their software is developed in such a way that there is maximum protection of data and privacy. It involves building protections into the architecture of the AI system, rather than retroactively working on privacy breaches. This would help reduce privacy breaches and be more compliant with privacy laws from the outset.

Minimizing the collection of data

Rather than pick up the whole, pick up only the data required and leave the rest alone. This ensures that the individual is not being tracked and read unnecessarily. This again reduces the risk of breach and violation of privacy.

Consent and Being Transparent

Ensuring that individuals know exactly what is being mined, how it is being analyzed and distributed, and whether they consent to the collection, analysis, and distribution, is key in mitigating privacy breaches. Individuals will be able to make more informed decisions and have more power over the data being collected and used, rather than being left in the dark about it.

AI systems can be designed and taught to respect boundaries where consent and transparency is concerned.

Rules and Regulations

With more stringent laws and oversight set in place, regulatory bodies can ensure that companies comply with protecting the individual’s right to privacy and data mining in the age of AI. By creating more robust and overarching laws, with room for tweaks and improvements, there is bound to be a better way of curbing the pervasiveness of AI. The front and foremost priority should always be to protect the individual’s right to privacy.


“The real question is, when will we draft an artificial intelligence bill of rights? What will that consist of? And who will get to decide that?”

Gray Scott

It is a complex world with AI and struggles for data and privacy. It will only become more complex as days go by with AI becoming more intelligent exponentially. 

Its implications are far-reaching whether on individuals, businesses, governments, and even society as a whole.

The power of AI to improve healthcare, education, and business practices is significant, however, the challenges are no less concerning revolving around privacy and how much control an individual has over the sharing of personal data.

Prioritizing privacy by design, ensuring regulations are in place and implemented, reducing the collection of data, obtaining consent, and having greater transparency are some of the potential solutions to the growing problem. 

Collective and concerted efforts from all stakeholders can ensure that AI and privacy can coexist responsibly and ethically. At the end of the day, it is not about winning or losing, but coexisting!


How will artificial intelligence affect privacy?

When it comes to privacy, AI has two extremes. 

On the one hand, it can be a powerful tool to create privacy-enhancing technologies, like differential privacy, that can protect sensitive data. But, on the other hand, AI can exploit personal data and violate our privacy rights.

AI can affect our data and privacy in these ways

Facial recognition

Voice recognition

Data collection and analysis

Privacy-enhancing technologies.

Why is artificial intelligence the worst enemy of privacy?

Artificial intelligence can exploit personal data and privacy. It can keep records of our location, pictures as well as social media activity. However, the list does not end here. 

With facial recognition technology, AI can identify faces in public spaces. Also, it can analyze speech patterns and raise serious concerns about the violation of privacy.

Does artificial intelligence violate privacy?

Yes, one of the biggest issues related to AI and privacy is the problem of privacy violation. 

Who will win AI or humans?

It is not a matter of “winning” between AI and humans, as they serve different purposes and have different strengths and limitations.

AI is a tool created by humans to help with various tasks and processes, and it has shown remarkable capabilities.

Humans, on the other hand, have unique cognitive and emotional abilities that enable us to adapt to changing environments, learn from experience, and create new things

What are some of the ethical challenges of privacy and AI?

Mentioned below are some ethical challenges of AI and privacy

Informed consent: AI systems often rely on vast amounts of personal data to make predictions or decisions.

Bias and discrimination: AI systems can perpetuate and even amplify biases and discrimination.

Transparency and accountability: It can be difficult to understand how AI systems make decisions or predictions

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