Marketer’s Guide to the AI Executive Order: Privacy, Safety and Authenticity

Marketer’s Guide to the AI Executive Order: Privacy, Safety and Authenticity

The Gist

  • Privacy emphasis. The executive order highlights the importance of data privacy, urging for federal legislation, which may reshape how customer data is managed in marketing.
  • AI safety standards. Proposed standards for AI safety and security could lead to industrywide practices affecting AI use in marketing analytics and customer engagement.
  • Authentic content identification. The directive to establish standards for detecting AI-generated content and authenticating official content could impact digital marketing strategies amidst the rise of deepfakes.

The US government’s executive order on artificial intelligence released today underpins a range of implications for customer experience and marketing leaders, particularly around the directives protecting Americans’ data privacy in an era where data fuels personalized customer experiences and marketing strategies.

According to the White House, the executive order establishes new standards for AI safety and security, protects Americans’ privacy, advances equity and civil rights, stands up for consumers and workers, promotes innovation and competition and advances American leadership around the world.

However, don’t start crafting marketing and customer experience data-privacy strategies based on this order just yet. Most of this is what the White House orders the country to do regarding establishing artificial intelligence safeguards and development frameworks. In other words, these include directives that need to play out and won’t take immediate effect until federal agencies carry them out and in some cases Congress approves laws.

In the order, US President Joseph Biden merely calls on Congress to pass data privacy legislation, something the United States hasn’t done on a sweeping, federal level despite pleas for action. In 2022, in response to increased awareness of consumer privacy, Congress introduced the American Data Privacy Protection Act (ADPPA), but that hasn’t had any action since the Committee on Energy and Commerce amended the Act Dec. 30, 2022.

The US government has been busy with AI in the past year. The AI order news comes about a year after the US Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), as part of an effort to inspire companies to create and implement ethically responsible AI and protect public rights in the digital age, released a set of guidelines intended to serve as a guide for the design, use and deployment of automated systems.

The US is also working with global powers on AI standards. 

Push for Federal Data Privacy Protection: What Else Is New?

According to White House officials, AI not only makes it easier to extract, identify and exploit personal data, but it also heightens incentives to do so because companies use data to train AI systems. President Biden in the order issued today urges Congress to pass bipartisan data privacy legislation to “protect all Americans, especially kids,” and directs the following actions:

  • Prioritize federal support for accelerating the development and use of privacy-preserving techniques, including ones that use cutting-edge AI and that let AI systems be trained while preserving the privacy of the training data.
  • Strengthen privacy-preserving research and technologies, such as cryptographic tools that preserve individuals’ privacy, by funding a Research Coordination Network to advance rapid breakthroughs and development. The National Science Foundation will also work with this network to promote the adoption of leading-edge, privacy-preserving technologies by federal agencies.
  • Evaluate how agencies collect and use commercially available information, including information they procure from data brokers, and strengthen privacy guidance for federal agencies to account for AI risks. This work will focus in particular on commercially available information containing personally identifiable data.
  • Develop guidelines for federal agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of privacy-preserving techniques, including those used in AI systems. These guidelines will advance agency efforts to protect Americans’ data.

Privacy is a paramount concern for customers, and the executive order’s emphasis on privacy-preserving techniques and guidelines could necessitate changes in how customer data is handled, analyzed and stored. The call for bipartisan data privacy legislation could potentially lead to new regulatory frameworks that impact how customer data is managed and used for marketing purposes.

According to the State of Digital Customer Experience 2023 report by CMSWire, legislation such as the EU’s General Data Privacy Regulation(GDPR) and other acts like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have had a significant impact on the mindset of both customers and marketing teams when it comes to protecting data.

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