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Booming Dependency on AI and Privacy- Analysis of International and Indian Legal Framework (Part-1)

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This Article— Booming Dependency on AI and Privacy- Analysis of International and Indian Legal Framework— is divided into three segments, the readers are reading the First Part to the Article that contains, an Introduction to the topic, and an analysis on Data, Artificial Intelligence and Privacy. To read the second segment on AI and International Law- Data Protection and Regional Laws, please click here. Similarly to read the third segment on, India on AI Privacy Issues Law, and Suggestions, please click here

Elevation of man’s life to a digital platform welcomed him with access to everything on his fingertips. The development of the science behind the digital platform has presently reached to the level of man’s dependency on artificial intelligence, thereby rusting his intellect. His life previously had tangible enemies to intrude to his privacy, however, with the development in the digital platform, the human adhesiveness to it has boomed sawing weed in the field i.e. the intangible enemies or the cyber attackers. The serious threat to individuals of both natural and legal nature and the nations across the globe are facing a single issue with the same gravity i.e. the threat to identity and data in the digital platform. This is called as data privacy issues in cyberspace. 

Theft and sale of data is the present trend of crime in cyberspace which is boosting every microsecond due to the development and application of Artificial Intelligence by users. This paper deals with the concept of artificial intelligence in cyberspace. It also deals with data and its privacy in cyberspace. It also covers the importance of scope and dependency on artificial intelligence. 


Generations of human beings have crafted and witnessed various developments in lifestyle beginning from civilization to the settlement of lives to the elevation of society to a virtual platform called cyberspace where people are connected irrespective of the borders. This shift was done through intermediate phases i.e. urbanization, globalization, liberalization, privatization, commercialization, and digitalization. Each phase has paved the way to diminish the distance between different parts of the world and has also strengthened the networking between people belonging to different of the world. Human intellect has never been satisfied and has continued the experiments and inventions which has led to the state of availability of everything on his fingertips. 

Digitalization has extended its arms in accessing education, employment, and communication with everyone at any time. The boost in acceptance by people of this society made the marketers of service providers provide internet services at a cheap rate provoking rough and tough competition between the service providers. The incresase in efficiency of the internet by internet service providers has caused people to be addicted to cyberspace. The intensity has increased when the users are provided with the opportunity to do video calls, conferences, classes so live, giving all the environment that they are real environment. This has led to the formation of a copy of the lifted globe which is more populated and trafficked in every fraction of the microsecond. 

From availability and access to everything at the fingertips, the man now looks for a mechanical partner who can do everything for him. This has been cradled in the minds of scientists who now invent and develop highly efficient robots and robotic programs that can be a man’s servant or a maid forever. The dynamic researches and experiments on this idea have led to total acceptance of artificial intelligence installed in devices namely Alexa and her sister devices. These are originated from the European countries but the research panel of our country concentrates on invention cost-effective devices with said nature. 

In the past five years, science and inventions have shockingly given us partner robots which can provide you with everything you desire. This period has also shown extreme inclination of human dependency on artificial intelligence and cyberspace. The present trend of dependency of humans on artificial intelligence in cyberspace can be showcased through this statement; “I have a friend from Antarctica, but I do not know who is in my next door”.

The present generation is living a life filled with bashes in cyberspace. Every need and desire is fulfilled through artificial intelligence in cyberspace. Cons are always given the least importance if the pros are of extremely high utility. Though a lot of issues in cyberspace have raised in the recent decade, the attention it gains is comparatively less. The various issues raised data piracy, privacy issues, spoofing, cyber terrorism, artificial intelligence server hacking, artificial intelligence program error, and other crimes. To discuss these issues concerning booming human dependency on artificial intelligence in cyberspace, there is a need to focus the limelight on the concept of data, artificial intelligence, and data privacy.

Data, Artificial Intelligence and Privacy

The present trend in the digital era is to spread and expose the lives of people, especially through social media. Apart from that participants in cyberspace are keen on the online publication of their identity, talent, work, and creativity. In the initial period of the digital era, the primary intention was to publicize themselves to a large audience without considering the disastrous events of crimes in cyberspace. Within no time, the data sought to be secured in cyberspace spilled and spread without permission, in a fraction of a second, participants of the cyberspace experienced insecurity in the virtual world they were living in. Apart from individual attacks, cyberspace has become a platform for committing crimes against the nation by encroaching the nationally vital data from the servers. This gave birth to the concept of cyber terrorism. Immaterial of the size or the number of victims in cyberspace, the motive is always to obtain data in the cyberspace. Therefore there is a great need to study the concept, scope, and interpretation of data concerning cyberspace.

Collins Dictionary of Law defines data as information that is being processed using equipment that operates automatically in response to instructions given for that purpose. It is recorded with the intention that it should be processed through such equipment or is recorded as part of a relevant filing system or with the intention that it should form part of a relevant filing system. It need not be held on a computer.

The Federal Trade Commission considers information that is linked or reasonably linkable to a specific individual, which could include IP addresses and device identifiers, as personal data.

The California Consumer Privacy Act defines personal information as any information that identifies, relates to, describes is reasonably capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household. The definition specifically includes name alias, contact information, government ID, biometrics, genetic data, location data, account numbers, education history, purchase history, online and device IDs, and search and browsing history and other online activities, if such information is linked or linkable in a particular consumer or household.

Under art. 4(1) of the General Data Protection Regulations, the term personal data is defined as any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identifiable number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, psychological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person.

United Kingdom has implemented GDPR by enacting the Data Privacy Act 2018 which has adopted the definition of personal information in the full sense.

According to Information Technology Act 2002, data means a representation of information, knowledge, facts, concepts or instructions which are being prepared or have been prepared in a formalized manner, and is intended to be processed, is being processed or in a computer system or computer network, and maybe in any form (including computer printouts magnetic or optical storage media, punched cards, punched tapes) or stored internally in the memory of the computer.

The various definitions for data including personal data which depict the inclusiveness of various characteristics and factors to increase the scope of application to fulfill the purpose for which it is crafted. It is clear from the inclusion of a physical and soft form of data that the shadow of the globe has elevated to a soft platform or cyberspace. The statutes containing these definitions narrate that the data in intangible forms shall be given protection and privacy shall be envisaged. The data in cyberspace is thus stored, manipulated, accessed, transferred, altered, and destructed using computer programs which intelligibly works according to the commands of the programmer, and hence it is termed as artificial intelligence. 

The artificial intelligence sector has grown to the extent that it is much higher than human intelligence. The introduction of artificial intelligence to the cyberspace has led to a bullet shot boom in the quantum of participants in the cyberspace. In the first decade of the second millennium, smart partners such as Alexa from Amazon, Google Assistant from Google Inc., Siri from Apple held the hands of participants by providing them everything on verbal command in their language. This has paved the way for a time-saving lifestyle. The increasing influence of artificial intelligence in the cyberspace led to the formulation of laws by the lawmakers and researchers to regulate the vicinity of artificial intelligence in cyberspace.

The eminent corporate Thomson Reuters defines artificial intelligence as the simulation of the human thought process in a computerized model. Westlaw developers say that artificial intelligence is teaching computers to mimic human behavior and thoughts to find the most relevant and accurate results, saving legal professionals time without sacrificing confidence. John Mc Carthy was the first person to use the word AI in 1955 and defined artificial intelligence as the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.

Today’s AI approaches fall into two categories namely; machine learning and logical rules and knowledge representation. In machine learning, works are done by finding useful patterns in a huge quantum of data whereas, in knowledge representation, designers translate the knowledge of the experts into an array of formal rules and structures that the computer can process. Law on artificial intelligence dates back to 1600 when Leibniz, the mathematician who famously co-invented calculus, was also trained as a lawyer and was one of the earliest to investigate how mathematical formalisms might improve the law. The eminent researchers in this area include Anne Gardner, L. Throne McCarty, Kevin Ashley, Radboud Winkels, Market Sergot, Richard Susskind, Henry Prakken, Robert Kowalski, Laymann Allen, and many others. The use of artificial intelligence today can be conceptually categorized into three categories i.e. the administrator, the practitioners, and those who are governed by the law. This categorization is done based on the transition from paper documents in the legal sector to the electronic documents, filtration techniques. 

As already said, the entire personal information of individuals across the globe now has a presence in cyberspace, the above statement confirms the gravity of the influence of artificial intelligence on individuals in cyberspace. Therefore there exists an alarming need for privacy or data protection in cyberspace. The debates concerning privacy in cyberspace date back to the pre-millennium period and are still going on. Let us now go through the concept of privacy in cyberspace. Privacy in cyberspace or data protection or data security in cyberspace are synonymously used to point the needs, issues, and suggestions concerning the protection of data in cyberspace. 

“Information privacy is a social goal, not a technological one. To achieve information privacy goals will require social innovations, including the formation of new norms and perhaps new legal rules to establish boundary lines between acceptable and unacceptable uses of personal data.” – Pamela Samuelson

In Olmstead v. United States, Justice Brandeis stated that “Our private lives are now exposed by electronic retrieval and publication of personal information… the right to be let alone the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men should equally be applied to such intrusion by non-governmental entities.”

Privacy in cyberspace has got different aspects in different dimensions and can be briefly narrated as follows.

  1. Privacy is the interest that individuals have in sustaining a personal space free from interference by other people and organizations.
  2. Privacy has multiple dimensions, including the privacy of physical person, the privacy of personal behavior, the privacy of communications, and privacy of personal data and is annexed together as information privacy.
  3. Individuals claim that data related  to them should not be automatically available to other individuals and organizations and that even where data is possessed by another party, the individual must be able to exercise a substantial degree of control over the data and its use
  4. Dataveillance or intellectual privacy is the systematic use of personal data systems in the investigation and monitoring of the actions or communications of one or more persons.

Where the statistics of 2019 about data privacy is concerned, 57% of the global population has access to the internet out of which 53% of online users are currently more concerned about online privacy compared to a year ago. It was recorded that in the United States, 81% of online users felt that their data was very or somewhat vulnerable to hackers. Also, 22% of online users stated that saving sensitive data online was not secure enough for them and further 40% stated that they were concerned about their online data being misused. Only 24% of global online users trust their government a lot regarding the management and protection of personal information.

In December 2019, the Digital Security Council of India published its statistics about cybersecurity and privacy which indicates the following: 

  1. Over 12.3 billion mobile applications were downloaded and 91% of the people cyber-attacks will increase by 2022.
  2. 76% believe that they don’t have an adequate budget to encounter cyber threat and would need to increase investment in cybersecurity
  3. The average cost of a malicious insider attack rose by 15% in 2019 from last year.
  4. The average cost of a data breach in India has gone up to INR 119 million an increase from 7.9% from 2017.

From the above set of recent statistics, it can be traced that threat to personal information or data in cyberspace is at an alarming rate and is increasing every year across the globe. It can be noted that the number of participants increases by year and the failure of data protection or data privacy issues are increasing accordingly. Artificial intelligence is one factor that boosts in increasing the number of participants in cyberspace. 

Law concerning artificial intelligence is in the evolving stage. The various data privacy issues due to booming dependency on artificial intelligence by the participants of cyberspace have to be dealt at the international level utilizing various laws and regulations. The available laws and regulations and its implementation at the international level, regional level, and national level to enhance cybersecurity and data protection due to artificial intelligence, can be analyzed in detail.

To read the second segment on AI and International Law- Data Protection and Regional Laws, please click here.

This Article is written by Anu Bhuvanachandran, Partner, Outsay Legal, New Delhi, Advocate, Supreme Court of India; BBA.LLB (HONS) and LLM (Corporate and Cyber Laws). is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgements from the court. Follow us on Google News, InstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe for our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.

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