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Personal Data and individual access control. The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems

Personal data, Autonomous systems, Artificial Intelligence, Transparency
Autonomous and Intelligent systems (A/IS) are developing faster than the supporting standards and regulation required for transparency and societal protections can keep pace. The impact of these systems on society is direct and considerable. A/IS require data to fuel learning, and inform automatic decision-making. Increasingly this data is personal data, or personally identifiable information, known as PII. PII is defined as any data that can be reasonably linked to an individual based on their unique physical, digital, or virtual identity. As a result, through every digital transaction (explicit or observed) humans are generating a unique digital shadow of their physical self. Ethical considerations regarding data are often focused largely on issues of privacy — what rights should a person have to keep certain information to themselves or have input into how it is shared? However, individuals currently lack clarity around how to access, organize, and share their data to ensure unintended consequences are not the Laws are generally enforceable result. Without clarity, these issues will continue to reflect negatively on the proliferation of the A/IS industry. The aim of this Committee is to set out the ethical considerations in the collection and use of personal data when designing, developing, and/or deploying A/IS. Furthermore, to entreat all global (A/IS) technologists (academics, engineers, programmers, manufacturers, and policy makers) to proactively prioritize and include individuals in the data processes that directly relate to their identity. There is a fundamental need for people to have the right to define access and provide informed consent with respect to the use of their personal data (as they do in the physical world). Individuals require mechanisms to help curate their unique identity and personal data in conjunction with policies and practices that make them explicitly aware of consequences resulting from the bundling or resale of their personal information and life experiences. Enabling individuals to curate their identities and manage the ethical implications of their data use will remain essential to human culture everywhere in the world. While some may choose only minimum compliance to legislation like the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), forward-thinking organizations will shift their data strategy (marketing, product, and sales) to enable methods of harnessing volunteered intentions from customers (or in governmental contexts, citizens), versus only invisibly tracking their attention or actions. For individuals to be at the center of their data, policy makers and society at large will need to rethink the nature of standards and human rights as they have been applied to the physical world and to re-contextualize their application in the digital world. While standards exist, or are in production relating to augmented and virtual reality, human rights law, privacy and data, it is still largely not understood how human agency, emotion, and the legal issues regarding identity will be affected on a large scale by society once A/IS technologies become ubiquitous. The goal of the analysis of these ethical issues and considerations by this Committee regarding data usage and identity is to foster a positive and inclusive vision for our shared future. To accomplish this goal, this document is focused on the following themes: 1. Digital Personas 2. Regional Jurisdiction 3. Agency and Control 4. Transparency and Access 5. Symmetry and Consent We have also created an Appendix document listing key resources referenced in the following section. Addressing these issues and establishing safeguards prioritizing the protection and assets of individuals regarding privacy and personal data in the realms of A/IS is of paramount importance today. To that end, since the creation of the first draft of Ethically Aligned Design this Committee recommended ideas for the following IEEE Standards Working Groups which have been and approved and are free for all to join (click on links for details): • IEEE P7002™, Data Privacy Process • IEEE P7004™, Standard on Child and Student Data Governance • IEEE P7005™, Standard on Employer Data Governance • IEEE P7006™, Standard for Personal Data Artificial Intelligence (AI) Agent The goal of this Committee is that our recommendations, in conjunction with the development and release of these Standards once adopted, will expedite the prioritization and inclusion of all global individuals in the data processes that directly relate to their identity.
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IEEE (2016). Personal Data and individual access control. The IEEE Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems. [Website] (accessed November 26th, 2018).
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