January 28, 2024: European Data Protection Day

January 28, 2024: European Data Protection Day - KI MS

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January 28, 2024 is European Data Protection Day. In this context, it is important to raise awareness of privacy and data protection and to raise awareness of relevant IT security issues - regardless of whether they concern the private or corporate environment.

The advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are on Data Protection Day 2024 an obvious issue - both because of the potential benefits that such tools bring with them and because of the dangers associated with them, which are certainly a source of concern. According to Carla Roncato, Vice President of Identity, WatchGuard Technologies.

AI as a threat to data protection

Given the widespread adoption of AI tools in the last year alone, it is critical that WatchGuard, as a representative of the IT security community, takes this opportunity to advocate for the risks that AI poses to protecting our data. to raise awareness and deepen understanding of it. AI is increasingly finding its way into our everyday lives and, not least, affects our right to data protection.

Businesses and individual users should never forget one thing: if a service they use is 'free', then in the end it is probably data that is being accessed as a 'price' in return. This also applies to AI tools, so everyone should act accordingly. Many early AI services and applications – including ChatGPT – use a usage model similar to that of social media platforms such as Facebook and TikTok. Although users do not pay any money to use these platforms, they compensate the providers by agreeing to the transfer of private data.

Companies are also attracted by AI tools

Carla Roncato, Vice President of Identity at WatchGuard Technologies (Image: WatchGuard).

Companies use these, for example, to make money with targeted advertising. Similarly, a free AI service can collect data from devices, store the individual prompts, and then use that data to train its own model. While this may not seem malicious, that is precisely why it is so important to know what is happening and to what extent the processing of the collected data to train generative AI algorithms raises privacy issues. Just assume that one of these companies is hacked and data falls into the wrong hands: then exactly such individual information can be cleverly used as a weapon.

Of course, AI also has advantages. In fact, many AI tools are quite powerful and can be used safely with the right precautions. The risks that arise for companies in the course of business use depend primarily on the respective tasks, objectives and data used. When it comes to security, everything starts with a policy, which means that organizations ultimately need to define clear AI guidelines tailored to their company's specific use case. Once these have been determined, the next step is to inform employees and create awareness of the risks. It is also important to adapt the rules accordingly as soon as the general conditions change, for example in the form of new regulations. Regular communication with the workforce is crucial in this context.”

More at WatchGuard.com


About WatchGuard

WatchGuard Technologies is one of the leading providers in the field of IT security. The extensive product portfolio ranges from highly developed UTM (Unified Threat Management) and next-generation firewall platforms to multifactor authentication and technologies for comprehensive WLAN protection and endpoint protection, as well as other specific products and intelligent services relating to IT security . More than 250.000 customers worldwide rely on the sophisticated protection mechanisms at enterprise level,


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