Privacy and AI: Insights from U of T’s Data Privacy Day event

Screenshot of panelists at the Data Privacy Day event

Data Privacy Day is celebrated annually and serves as a crucial reminder about the importance of protecting personal information and data. This year, Information Security and the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Office (FIPPO) hosted a virtual panel event on Jan. 25 to celebrate Data Privacy Day.

The event, “Privacy in the world of AI”, was joined by 231 participants from all three campuses.

The panel was moderated by Kelly Carmichael, FIPP Coordinator, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Office, and consisted of subject matter experts from the U of T community:

  1. Dr. Nicolas Papernot, Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering and Computer Science
  2. Carlos Chalico​, IT Risk and Privacy Consultant, Ernst & Young​ and Instructor, U of T School of Continuing Studies
  3. Avi Hyman​, Director, Academic, Research & Collaborative Technologies (ARC), Information Technology Service

The panelists represented practical, technical and academic perspectives, providing a holistic view of the challenges, emerging trends and ethical considerations in the evolving landscape of AI and privacy.

Takeaways from the event

  • Importance of guidance and resources: The event highlighted the significance of having comprehensive guidelines and resources available to the University community regarding the responsible and intelligent use of AI. Avi Hyman emphasized the efforts of U of T Information Security, Provost Office and School of Graduate Studies in developing guidance around AI usage, with specific focus on its application in teaching and learning. He also mentioned valuable materials prepared by the U of T Libraries aimed at fostering understanding and best practices in AI deployment.
  • Implications of regulatory changes: During the live Q&A, the panelists delved into the potential impact of new EU AI regulations and the ISO 42001 standard for AI management systems. Dr. Papernot outlined the overarching goals of these regulations, which emphasize transparency, accountability and mitigating bias in AI systems. Carlos Chalico emphasized the need for organizations to integrate AI management systems with existing frameworks for data security, privacy and information management. While discussing privacy regulations, Chalico highlighted the benefits of viewing compliance as an opportunity to build trust with stakeholders by prioritizing transparency and obtaining informed consent.
  • Balancing innovation with privacy concerns: The panelists also touched upon the ongoing dialogue surrounding the intersection of AI innovation and privacy concerns. They emphasized the importance of striking a balance between leveraging AI technologies for innovation while upholding privacy rights and ethical principles. Chalico emphasized the significance of considering broader data management and governance perspectives beyond privacy and cyber security to ensure responsible AI deployment.

Following the insightful panel discussion, the audience actively participated in a lively Q&A session, engaging directly with the experts.

Visit the Security Matters website for more information security related news.

Additional resources

  1. Guidelines on privacy and security for mobile apps
  2. AI chatbot Microsoft Copilot available to U of T employees
  3. Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FIPP) Office website
  4. Information Security website