5 Oct 2018

Privacy and Consumer Protection in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Rodrigo Polanco was on the panel of Session 82 at the World Trade Organization Public Forum 2018. The panel focused on personal data protection and AI.

On 4 October 2018, Rodrigo Polanco, Senior Researcher and Lecturer at the WTI, was a panellist at the WTO Public Forum, where he spoke about ‘How Trade Agreements Address Privacy and Consumer Concerns’. He is the coordinator of the research project The Governance of Big Data in Trade Agreements: Design, Diffusion and Implications (Big Data), which focusses on showing how international trade law applies to Big Data.

Also on the panel: Ansgar Koene, Senior Research Fellow, Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute at University of Nottingham, Felipe Sandoval, Senior Advisor, Trade Law and Negotiations, ICTSD, and Francisco Vera, Advocacy officer, Privacy International.

Session Abstract:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is part of our daily lives. This technology shapes how people access information, interact with devices and share personal information. AI has the potential to revolutionise societies in positive ways. However, as with any scientific or technological advancement, there is a real risk that the use of new tools will have a negative impact on privacy and human rights.

The incredible amount of data collected incredibly valuable to companies vying for consumers' business. With this increase in intelligence of this smart technology, personal data needs to be protected in every way possible.

Consumers need to protect their privacy, but they also need to protect what makes them human, the right to make choices and think for ourselves. This is especially important in so far as trade negotiators need to have a balanced picture of technology, privacy, technological and sustainable development issues in order to ensure technology enables trade.