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Advancement of AI Opens Health Data Privacy to Attack

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Improvements in artificial intelligence hold the potential to put personal health data at risk.

Advances in artificial intelligence have created new threats to the privacy of health data, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley researchers.

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University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) researchers have found that artificial intelligence (AI) innovations have created new threats to health data privacy against which current laws and regulations cannot adequately safeguard.

The researchers demonstrated that AI can be used to identify individuals by learning daily patterns in step data—like that collected by activity trackers, smartwatches, and smartphones—and correlating it to demographic data.

Said UC Berkeley's Anil Aswani, "In principle, you could imagine Facebook gathering step data from the app on your smartphone, then buying healthcare data from another company and matching the two. Now they would have healthcare data that's matched to names, and they could either start selling advertising based on that or they could sell the data to others."

Aswani said he is worried that AI advances will make it easier for companies to gain access to health data, raising the likelihood of misuse.

From Berkeley News
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