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Children’s privacy in the age of artificial intelligence

Organization

Canadian Standards Association (CSA Group)

Published

2021

Project Leader(s)

Nicki Islic

Summary

Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a growing role in children’s lives, fundamentally reshaping their everyday experiences and places – from their homes, to their schools, to other public services and spaces. Used responsibly, AI technology has remarkable potential to improve children’s well-being. However, according to this research, without effective interventions, the risks to children’s privacy from AI may have important and negative impacts on children’s present and future lives. Despite these risks, Canadian policy responses to AI and digital privacy protection remain adult-centric, overlooking the specific privacy rights, distinct needs, and unique circumstances of children. This project shows that targeted action is needed to address this critical policy gap.

Three main areas of risk to children’s privacy from AI are described: Data risks, function risks, and oversight risks. AI requires a great deal of information which it uses to make decisions in ways that can be hard for humans to understand or reverse, and the decisions made by AI can have profound impacts for children’s lives and opportunities. To address these risks, the report outlines recommended policy interventions throughout the AI “life cycle,” from the design of AI, through the adoption and use of technology, to systems of oversight and accountability. For all recommended actions, policymakers must consider the unique needs of children and involve children themselves in policy development.

A full report has been published along with a two-page placemat infographic and a summary for policymakers. This report builds on CSA Group’s previous work, Children’s Safety and Privacy in the Digital Age.

Project deliverables are available in the following language(s)

English

OPC Funded Project

This project received funding support through the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Contributions Program. The opinions expressed in the summary and report(s) are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Summaries have been provided by the project authors. Please note that the projects appear in their language of origin.

Contact Information

Nicki Islic, Manager, Strategic Initiatives
CSA Group
178 Rexdale Blvd., Toronto, ON M9W 1R3
Email: Nicki.islic@csagroup.org
Telephone: (416) 474-2610

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