EU prepares AI data sharing legislation
European AI Policy Conference – Development agency Oost NL joined the conference as a partner of Th!nk East Netherlands. Oost NL has invested heavily in AI and its innovative applications and was therefore focusing on threats and opportunities of new legislation for SMEs in the EU regions. On the 1st of December 2020 the Center for Data Innovation hosted the European AI Policy Conference. The schedule consisted of various keynote speeches and webinars on topics related to AI, such as “How can Europe enhance data sharing cooperation with its allies?” and “What should be in Europe’s AI legislation?”
As AI is relatively new and is still being developed in European regions, the need for legislation is also growing on this subject. A new legal framework is currently being developed by European legislators and the first part of this is expected to be finished upcoming March, according to Legal and Policy Officer for the European Commission Gabriele Mazzini. During the conference Axel Voss, Member of the European Parliament, spoke on this topic. According to Voss, the innovation of AI creates new risks, for example privacy related issues, which need to be addressed. In his opinion, EU policy makers and legislators are not focussing enough on the threats at the moment, as he feels that the main focus is on opportunities. However, “people that are trying to develop AI should not be threatened by legislation”, claims Voss. “Everyone needs to be able to innovate and develop AI as freely as possible”.
Axel Voss wishes that the development of EU legislation on AI is sped up, as the EU is already behind in comparison to the USA and China. Moreover, regulation will also create more trust among citizens regarding AI and the threats behind it. Katharina Zweig, Professor in Computer Science at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, mentions that there is a lack of expertise among the legislators at the moment, which is causing a delay. “Expertise needs to enter the courts and support the legislators”, claims Zweig.
The Minister-Counselor of Canada in the EU, Robert Sinclair, spoke on the topic of data-sharing between the EU and Canada. Sinclair mentioned that he was pleased with the relation between the EU and Canada on this topic. “The pandemic has shown how strong the relation is”. He also advises that countries should build partnerships based on shared values, which is the case between the EU and Canada.
“Canada is committed to a multi-stakeholder and multilateral approach to AI governance. Free flow of data and core values grounded in human rights are crucial in creating the trust for data-driven innovation”.
Guido Lobrano, Vice President of Policy at ITI, spoke from a business perspective. He claimed that there needs to be an incentive for companies to share data with governments, such as a tax scheme for example.
“Personal and interpersonal data is of high value for SMEs and LSEs and governments should support this”. In the near future data sharing could become a must to be profitable. However, forcing companies to share data does not work.
Sue Daley, Associate Director at techUK, highlighted the UK perspective on data sharing.
“The UK are looking for a Data Adequacy Agreement with the EU. Data sharing is all about trust, also for companies”, says Daley. The key issue that needs to be worked out is how to transfer the data between the UK and Europe. “The UK and the EU need to have the same data protection standards”.