AI in Data Privacy: Risks & Advantages

As technology advances and the uses of AI become more varied, the risks as well as the rewards rise. As concerns over data privacy increase, ways to make sure that sensitive information stays that way without being infringed. Misuse of personal data has led to brands needing to step up their game in terms of privacy protection, and this is where AI can step in to help.

The Dangers of AI & Privacy

Customers are concerned with how their data is collected. Different rules may be put into place in various countries, but applying these rules online in the digital sphere becomes more of a gray area. With this in mind, there are capacities that AI has that can be used for harmful causes. Since AI can utilize large datasets for analysis and processing big data in short amounts of time, this can be abused when it comes to privacy.

Devices are susceptible to being monitored and personal data can be de-anonymized based on inference from various devices. Machine learning algorithms can be used to predict or infer sensitive information based on non-sensitive data. Even if the data was originally received in an ethical way, there are possibilities for this trust to be breached. 

All of the available information online about individuals can be analyzed and computed in order to know complex information about each one of us. Even highly personal information such as:

  • Political views
  • Emotional states
  • Sexual orientation

Once these views have been analyzed and pieced together through AI, these can be used against people. For example, when it comes to credit ratings, housing availability or employment analysis. It’s clear to see why the risks of using AI in data are apparent.

Using AI to Protect Privacy

However, just as AI can be employed to create worrying scenarios, it can equally be used to create a positive impact. The double edged sword of the capacity of AI to utilize large datasets for analysis and process big data in a short amount of time should be considered. Yes, this means that large datasets can be scanned to manipulate sensitive data. However, it also means that it’s able to track and monitor people’s privacy.

Rather than using AI to monitor people’s devices to extract sensitive information, it can be used to track the security of people’s information across their various systems. It can constantly monitor network behavior, and consistently flag any anomalies. Since it can process so much, any breaches will be immediately flagged no matter how many people are using the system.

Algorithms for guarding data privacy can be created to make barricades to prevent attacks, breaches and leaks ensuring maximum privacy for users. The regulations can be automatically checked, giving all users peace of mind about their privacy. 

Another useful way AI can help privacy is through segmenting data when buying online. Entering payment details online can leave you susceptible to hackers, however if the data is segmented and only essential information is shared with providers, this risk can be reduced. Isolating these processes is a large job, but AI makes this process possible and achievable. 

Creating expiration dates for sensitive data can also mean that personal data is not stored longer than necessary. After a certain period of time the information is lost, rather than staying on a database susceptible to hacking or any other misuse. 


As we have seen, the advances in AI do present risks to sensitive data. However, they also offer solutions. As we move into uncharted territory when it comes to ensuring that data is kept as safe as possible moving forward, when used correctly, AI is definitely here to help.