Data Security is Central to the EU’s AI Act

Elizabeth Magill Fortanix
Elizabeth Magill
Published:Jun 18, 2024
Reading Time:2mins
data security for ai

Once again, Europe is at the forefront of data security and privacy regulations. Not only does this act emphasize the ethical implications of AI, but also the crucial role of data security in its development and deployment. 

Data Fuels AI 

Data is what fuels AI systems. The larger the data set, the better the quality of the output. Naturally, the quality and integrity of this data directly impacts the effectiveness and trustworthiness of those AI outputs. Imagine training an AI system for finding cancer cures but using a dataset that excluded information about women or certain ethnic – the results could be discriminatory and harmful.

The EU's AI Act recognizes this data-driven nature of AI and promotes a "privacy by design" approach, requiring developers to integrate data security and privacy considerations throughout the AI lifecycle. This includes techniques like anonymization and pseudonymization to minimize the exposure of personal and sensitive data. 

The focus on data security within the AI Act helps businesses and consumers to 

  • Build trust: By prioritizing data security, organizations can build trust with consumers and partners. Users are more likely to embrace AI if they are confident their data is protected. 
  • Mitigate risks: Robust data security practices minimize the risk of data breaches and misuse of personal information. This can save organizations from hefty fines under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and reputational damage. 
  • Ensure responsible AI: Data security is a cornerstone of responsible AI development. The AI Act promotes the development of AI that is fair, unbiased, and respectful of fundamental rights. 

The Road Ahead 

The EU's AI Act is a significant step towards a future where AI is developed and used responsibly. By emphasizing data security, the Act paves the way for a future where AI benefits both businesses and society. 

This time with the EU Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act passed by the European Parliament on March 13, 2024. It was then approved by the EU Council on May 21, 2024. The next step is for it to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union, and then it will be in effect 20 days after thatMost provisions of the Act won't be directly enforceable until 24 months after their entry into force. This means full application is expected around late April or early May of 2026. 

As the AI landscape continues to evolve, staying informed about data security best practices and the evolving regulatory environment will be crucial for organizations operating in the EU and beyond. 

How Fortanix Helps 

Fortanix is uniquely qualified to help organizations resolve this challenge. We help the world’s largest financial institutions, technology leaders, healthcare organizations and government agencies – among others, to secure their sensitive data while put it to use. 

We help secure data at-rest wherever it may reside, ensure it is also encrypted while in-transit, and protect the data in-use with our Confidential Computing solution. The Fortanix approach guarantees data encryption throughout its full lifecycle. But there is more.  

Our data tokenization solution, which leverages Format Preserving Encryption to keep the format of the datasets, enables organizations to safely work with their sensitive data, as it is used in applications, cloud analytics like Snowflake and Databricks, and AI models.

Encryption is as effective as the way encryption keys are managed. The Fortanix unified data security platform delivers unified key management services that give users absolute control over their data.  

Security teams now have a centralized, secure solution to manage hybrid multicloud data access policies and key lifecycles from one central console, deliver on Zero Trust initiatives, and be ready for post-quantum computing

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