AI Governance and Privacy Law, US and EU Perspectives with Yoann Le Bihan

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In this PrivacyLabs podcast, host Paul Starrett engages with Yoann Le Bihan, a privacy lawyer who is licensed in California and practices in Europe. The discussion revolves around challenges in privacy law concerning machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), focusing on the differences between the US and European approaches.

Yoann Le Bihan introduces himself as a lawyer with an engineering background. He established his firm specializing in technology law and privacy, aiming to bridge the communication gap between engineers and lawyers. He highlights the cultural gap between US and European privacy practices and emphasizes how AI companies, which largely operate in the US, benefit from the pragmatic business environment. However, Europe places greater emphasis on individual privacy rights, creating hurdles for AI firms in terms of data collection and usage.

The conversation delves into the complexities of data protection and data privacy regulations, using the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a key example. The GDPR’s impact on data transfers between the EU and the US is examined, noting the challenges faced by companies due to differing privacy values between the regions. Yoann also mentions the new US Data Privacy Framework (DPF) and its potential impact.

The podcast then explores the barriers to moving and using data for AI development. Data transfer restrictions between regions are highlighted, discussing the legal challenges caused by the GDPR’s limitations on data transfers from the EU to the US. The hosts consider the differences between data protection and data privacy laws in both regions, emphasizing the significance of privacy as a fundamental right in Europe.

Yoann points out that AI’s capability to cross-reference data and identify connections poses challenges in ensuring data anonymity. He discusses the potential use of synthetic data to mitigate privacy concerns while developing AI models.

Yoann Le Bihan discusses the impact of AI on privacy and the challenges it poses. He emphasizes the need for experts in both AI and privacy to navigate the intricate landscape. Le Bihan underscores that AI is a powerful tool that must be used responsibly and within proper guidelines to avoid privacy breaches.

The conversation touches on the role of AI in privacy law and the difficulty in finding skilled professionals who can bridge the gap between technology and law. Le Bihan also comments on the lack of current regulations and the potential impact of the AI Act in Europe, which aims to become an encompassing AI law.

Regarding the readiness of individuals and the privacy profession for AI governance, Le Bihan states that the world at large is likely near zero on a scale of preparedness. He highlights that while some industries may be more aware due to their specific focus, widespread understanding of AI’s implications is lacking.

The hosts and guest discuss the importance of AI governance to ensure AI technologies are used compliantly and effectively. Le Bihan likens responsible AI usage to putting a skilled driver in control of a powerful race car, highlighting the need for expertise to achieve success without mishaps.

Le Bihan brings up an EU project that focuses on data accessibility, allowing data subjects to gather and sell their data to companies, particularly AI firms, for model training. He views such projects as potentially business-friendly laws that offer consumers a way to engage with their data positively.

Overall, the podcast offers insights into the intricate interplay between AI development, privacy regulations, and the contrasting approaches of the US and Europe, shedding light on the complex landscape of AI governance and data privacy.

The episode concludes with Le Bihan providing his contact information and expressing a willingness to engage in future podcasts to delve further into related topics.

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