The Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) is the regulator of personal data. Its mission is to assist professionals in their compliance and to help individuals to control their personal data and exercise their rights. On April 5th, the CNIL announced the availability of a set of resources dedicated to the challenges of artificial intelligence and invites everyone to contribute to this work, which will be enriched later.
The adoption of AI-based solutions is growing but raises new issues in terms of data protection. As part of its missions to inform and protect rights, to support compliance and to anticipate and innovate, the CNIL offers a set of contents dedicated to AI.
It explains, through several publications, the stakes in terms of data protection and the way it acts to support the deployment of solutions that respect people’s rights.
The European strategy on AI
On April 2I, 2021, The European Commission proposed the first-ever legal framework on AI, which addresses the risks of AI and positions Europe to take a leading role on a global scale. This collaborative project aims to stimulate excellence in artificial intelligence, as well as lay down rules designed to build trust in AI systems. Previously, in February 2020, it published the AI White Paper and launched a participatory consultation.
This set of resources is part of the strategy to develop a robust regulatory framework for AI based on human rights and fundamental values and thus build trust among European citizens.
The proposed resources address three different audiences:
- the general public interested in the functioning of AI systems, their implications in our daily lives or wishing to test their functioning;
- professionals (data controllers or subcontractors) implementing personal data processing based on AI systems, or wishing to do so and wondering how to ensure their compliance with the RGPD;
- Specialists (AI researchers, data scientists, machine learning engineers, etc.) : for people who work with artificial intelligence on a daily basis, who are curious about the challenges that artificial intelligence poses for data protection and who are interested in the state of the art on these issues.
Resources for the general public
After a short presentation of the challenges of artificial intelligence for data protection, illustrated by everyday examples, the CNIL offers a selection of books, films and online resources for the curious and the initiated to understand how artificial intelligence works, to demystify it and to grasp its challenges.
Finally, a small glossary of artificial intelligence provides definitions related to the fields of artificial intelligence and machine learning, which are essential to understand in order to grasp the challenges.
Resources for professionals
The CNIL recalls the main principles of the French Data Protection Act and the RGPD to be followed when implementing personal data processing based on AI systems, as well as the CNIL’s positions on certain more specific aspects.
It then offers professionals a guide to self-assess the maturity of their AI systems with regard to the RGPD and good practices in the field, in view of the future European regulation.
Resources for specialists
The CNIL offers them:
- Studies on promising AI technologies for privacy protection, such as federated learning;
- Presentations of the state of the art on fundamental questions posed by AI, e.g. on the safety of AI systems;
- Words from recognized experts in the field of artificial intelligence, for example Nicolas Papernot or Aurélien Bellet and Marc Tommasi.
The resources made available by the CNIL are accessible from the “Individuals” and “Professionals” areas of the cnil.fr website, as well as on the CNIL’s Digital Innovation Laboratory (LINC) linc.cnil.fr.