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Why Privacy and Security Are Important in the Age of AI: Legal Expert Weighs In

Throughout the past several years, advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have played a key role in reshaping the digital landscape, and virtually every global industry from retail to Wall Street has implemented AI to some extent. Yet, however exciting this new world of AI-informed work may be, it brings with it a host of new legal and ethical challenges. 

Rob Scott, an attorney and the co-founder of monjur — a leader in Contracts-as-a-Service (CaaS) legal solutions — has applied his expertise in digital technology to help businesses navigate the complex issues of integrating AI into their operations. He has seen firsthand why privacy and security are some of the most significant considerations as we continue moving into the age of AI. 

“As lawyers, we play a critical role in guiding businesses through the labyrinth of regulations, ethical considerations, and contractual obligations that are tied to the use of AI,” Scott explains. With his cloud-based CaaS solution, businesses can expect better protection from ransomware and cybersecurity risks that could otherwise easily land them in hot water. 

Compliance and ethics 

Today’s businesses use AI for a litany of purposes, from automated customer responses online to complex healthcare diagnostics and data management. “Each application carries unique legal implications,” says Scott. These implications could range from data privacy concerns to issues of liability and accountability. 

According to Scott, when it comes to this technology, the job of attorneys is to help businesses navigate the sometimes muddy waters of AI and help them use the technology to their best advantage. Because AI is still such a novel technology for most businesses, they could be unaware of where to even start. 

As AI has evolved, several compliance initiatives have emerged such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), both of which mandate guidelines for the handling of personal and sensitive information. If businesses are found to be non-compliant, it could result in financial penalties, not to mention damage to a company’s (or its clients’) reputation.

In addition, as AI approaches become more integrated into daily life and business processes, ethical concerns about data usage and user privacy become more apparent. “Businesses need to remain ethical, even if they are just beginning to understand AI,” says Scott. “This means respecting privacy rights and ensuring that AI use does not result in discriminatory outcomes.”

Data sensitivity and customer trust 

AI programs handle and rely on a vast amount of data. Often, this data contains sensitive customer or patient information, proprietary business information, and intellectual property data. To maintain trust with customers, clients, and employees within one’s own business, this information needs to be handled with sensitivity and an assurance of privacy. 

Helping the legal community foster customer trust through the use of technology is why Scott created monjur. Much like other industries that are discovering how to best use AI technology, the legal industry has grappled with the ins and outs of data management and privacy to maintain customer trust. 

The legal tech industry has evolved, mostly in the areas of legal research, electronic discovery, and DIY platforms for consumers,” Scott says. “Our theory is that the best lawyers, when equipped with the best tools, will ultimately deliver the best customer experience and value.”

As Scott explains, these tools include AI-powered contracts that keep privacy and data security as a top priority. Scott and others in the legal industry are aware that one breach of security can lead to the complete annihilation of a business, which is precisely what they hope to help businesses avoid as use cases for AI continue evolving. 

A competitive edge 

With AI more prevalent than ever before, companies that fail to jump on the bandwagon may run the risk of being left in the dust competitively. Nevertheless, Scott stresses that they must still move forward thoughtfully and with the privacy and security of their business and those they serve in mind. 

“Just like previous technological advances, AI is here to stay,” says Scott. “While it brings a set of challenges that are indeed novel, they are not insurmountable.”

For Scott, the importance of prioritizing privacy and security as businesses more readily adopt AI cannot be overstated. As we plunge deeper into an era where AI is woven into various aspects of our lives, the safeguarding of sensitive data and the mitigation of potential risks are paramount. 

“As we stand on the cusp of another transformative period, it’s more crucial than ever to engage in a multi-disciplinary approach, combining technological innovation with legal and ethical responsibility,” explains Scott. 

The complexities of AI demand a comprehensive approach that not only complies with legal regulations but also fosters trust among users, customers, and stakeholders. Businesses and organizations that proactively embrace robust privacy and security measures can protect themselves against a wide array of threats while simultaneously positioning themselves as ethical and reliable stewards of data. 

With the guidance of experts in technology law, those businesses that thoughtfully utilize AI will continue paving the way for a future where innovation and protection can coexist seamlessly. Ultimately, the commitment to privacy and security in the age of AI is not merely a legal obligation but one to the business landscape as a whole.