Avast Team, Jun 4, 2020

Recent global events have thrust the issue of AI, privacy, and cybersecurity firmly to the front of the news and political agenda.

The topic of privacy, AI, and security is increasingly becoming a key part of mainstream news, business, and politics. As the reach of technology expands further into people’s daily lives, and becomes more critical to the functioning of government and business, issues that were once primarily the topic of discussion among academics and professionals have shifted to the front page of newspapers and the top stories on the evening news. 

With the key theme of CyberSec&AI Connected being AI for privacy and cybersecurity, we plan to have occasional blog updates rounding up some of the big stories from the field. Make sure to keep checking our news updates

The ethical debate around the fight against COVID-19  

A key tool in the effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in some regions is the use of track and trace apps to help identify people who may have come into contact with those carrying the virus. Tracing apps can automatically notify people who may have come into close contact with an infected person, letting them now they should self isolate.

The Guardian has reported on concerns from privacy campaigners (such as The Open RIghts Group) that the UK version of such an app will allow the government to later obtain personally identifiable data and potentially use it for other purposes (such as immigration). There has also been criticism around the UK government’s failure to complete a legally mandated data protection impact assessment. You can read the original story here.

Privacy in the age of protest

The issue of data being used by authorities during times of protest or unrest is also top of the news currently. A recent WIRED article has addressed two key issues around digital surveillance. The first is the data that police may be able to gather from a citizen’s phone in the case of arrest or detainment. The second matter is the use and ethics of other forms of surveillance such as facial recognition, license plate scanners or wireless interception of communications. 

Harlo Holms, Director of Newsroom Security at the Freedom of the Press Foundation, says: “The device in your pocket is definitely going to give off information that could be used to identify you.” You can read the full article here.

USA finally joins global AI group 
Science Business reports on the decision of the US to finally join the G7 led ‘Global Partnership on AI’, founded by Canada and France two years ago. 

Speaking on Twitter, the CTO of the White House, Michael Kratisos, said: “The pandemic has made clear why AI development aligned with privacy, freedom, and civil liberties is such an imperative. It is critical that America stand alongside those who share and promote our values.”

A key reason for the US giving up its opposition to joining the group is concern over China’s growing strength in the field of technology and AI. You can read the source article here.

Be part of the debate on AI for privacy and security

CyberSec&AI Connected is a virtual conference taking place on October 8th, 2020 and brings together leading academics and tech professionals from around the world to examine critical issues around AI for privacy and security. 

To learn more about the event, visit our website. Those booking before the end of June will be eligible for our early bird ticket pricing.

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