How the GDPR will Affect Machine Learning Techniques

By Emily Pribanic - Published on June 18, 2018
How the GDPR will affect Machine Learning Techniques

Do you know how the GPR will affect your machine learning algorithms?

The GDPR is in full effect and many companies are worried that it will make their machine learning practices impossible to continue. While this is not true, it is still essential to stay GDPR compliant with all machine learning algorithms.

Now that the General Data Protection Regulation has gone into full effect, many fear this new law will hinder machine learning technologies and even make machine learning an illegal practice. While this is fortunately not the case, it is still important to note exactly how the GDPR will affect machine learning practices and how your company can still utilize machine learning while staying within compliance of the GDPR.

The main purpose of the EU enacting this new regulation was to further protect EU citizen’s data and to eliminate bias from companies. Before the GDPR went into effect, companies could profile customers by their region, age or even lifestyle. These profiling practices often led to these companies using machine learning tools to send specific offers to certain customers and even attempt to corrupt their financial stability by sending more offers to customers who were financially vulnerable. Now that the GDPR is in full effect, companies are still able to use machine learning techniques, but they must be careful with these techniques and ensure that they are GDPR compliant before they roll them out to the public.

How will GDPR Affect Machine Learning Techniques?

The first way GDPR will affect machine learning techniques is the fact that this new regulation states that companies can only possess customer data for the length of time necessary. The major problem with this is that the longer machine learning algorithms store customer data, the better they’re able to build correlations and produce better results companies expect from the algorithm. With the new provisions of the GDPR, storing data for long periods of time is not an option for most customers, as many customers will opt to have their data removed before AI and machine learning can properly use their data to offer them the most targeted, relevant data.

With the GDPR limiting the amount of time companies can possess customer data, developers, system administrators, data analysts, and network engineers will need to ensure that the machine learning systems in place comply with the new law and can also show why the system made a certain decision with its targeting measures. This is because the GDPR not only requires companies to state when and where customers opted in for data usage and where they did the same to have their data deleted from the company’s server but also why a machine learning algorithm decided to target the customer the way it did.

While many companies believe that possessing tons of data on every single customer they have ever come into contact with is necessary, it really isn’t and the GDPR will help companies only keep data on customers that truly enjoy their company. With GDPR in machine learning techniques, companies can now focus their data storage on customers who want to be targeted and not waste data space on any customers who no longer want to share their information with the organization. While the new regulation will no longer allow companies to use information provided for their own gain, unless the customer consents, companies will still be able to use information gathered from consenting customers to build their machine learning algorithms to target their more loyal customers better, making them even more satisfied with their experiences with the company.

Emily Pribanic | Emily is a graduate of the University of North Texas. She has her B.A. in Advertising with a concentration in Copywriting. Emily has been writing since she was young and has a creative imagination. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her family and two cats.

Emily Pribanic | Emily is a graduate of the University of North Texas. She has her B.A. in Advertising with a concentration in Copywriting. Emily has been writing s...

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