On Geopolitics

AI Makes Personal Privacy a Matter of National Strategy

Rebecca Keller
Senior Science and Technology Analyst, Stratfor
May 3, 2018 | 14:00 GMT
The latest social media scandals have generated a backlash in the United States among internet users who want greater control over their personal data. But AI runs on data. AI algorithms use robust sets of data to learn, honing their pattern recognition and prediction abilities. And much of that data comes from individuals.

The latest social media scandals have generated a backlash in the United States among internet users who want greater control over their personal data. But AI runs on data. AI algorithms use robust sets of data to learn, honing their pattern recognition and prediction abilities. And much of that data comes from individuals.

(GarryKillian, Andrea Danti/Shutterstock, Robert Zavala/Stratfor)

It seems that hardly a 24-hour news cycle passes without a story about the latest social media controversy. We worry about who has our information, who knows our buying habits or searching habits, and who may be turning that information into targeted ads for products or politicians. Calls for stricter control and protection of privacy and for greater transparency follow. Europe will implement a new set of privacy regulations later this month -- the culmination of a yearslong negotiating process and a move that could ease the way for similar policies in the United States, however eventually. Individuals, meanwhile, may take their own steps to guard their data. The implications of that reaction could reverberate far beyond our laptops or smartphones. It will handicap the United States in the next leg of the technology race with China....

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