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Guest Post - Mitigate Data Privacy and Security Risks with Machine Learning

Oct 2, 2017 4:40:18 PM by Andrew Pery

This is the sixth post in a series on privacy by Andrew Pery. You might also be interested in:


Minimizing data breaches and privacy compliance are now top strategic and operational priorities for organizations given increasingly onerous data privacy regulatory requirements.

Consider the facts:

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning technologies are not new. Technologies such as document capture, pattern recognition and knowledge management are widely used to automate the digitization of documents.

With the advent of big data and cloud computing machine learning is gaining mainstream adoption. Referred to as deep learning, a more advanced form of machine learning, is designed to process and analyze “high volume, high velocity and high-variety information assets that demand cost effective, innovative forms of information processing for enhanced insight and decision making’”

Applications of deep learning such as fraud detection and recommendation engines deliver significant commercial benefits by empowering organizations such as banks and e-commerce providers such as Amazon and Netflix to gain granular and contextual insight to customer sentiments and buying preferences.

While these advances in machine learning technologies do benefit consumers they may also potentially compromise their privacy rights. For example, profiling based on consumer’s social media likes and preferences, while deliver value in the form of more targeted advertising, may expose personally identifiable information by combining such information with other metadata such as GPS information.

A recent decision by the US Supreme Court in Riley recognized the potentially adverse consequences of profiling based on the collection of metadata: “An Internet search and browsing history, for example, could reveal an individual’s private interests or concerns”. Moreover, GDPR recognizes the importance of protecting privacy rights relating to “any form of automated processing of personal data consisting of data to evaluate personal preferences, interests, behavior, location and movements.” 

About the author:  Andrew Pery is a marketing executive with over 25 years of experience in the high technology sector focusing on content management and business process automation.  Currenly Andrew is CMO of Top Image Systems.  Andrew holds a Masters of Law degree with Distinction from Northwestern University is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/C) and a Certified Information Professional (CIP/AIIM).

[Note from JM:  All this has me thinking about privacy challenges of managing increasing volumes of data, and particularly compliance challenges looming with the pending new European privacy rules - the GDPR. Andrew and I wrote a new eBook on the topic -- Information Privacy and Data Protection Regulation --The EU GDPR is Just the Tip of the Iceberg. Check it out.

eu gdpr

Topics: privacy, security, information security, gdpr

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