Artificial Intelligence and its Interplay with Data Privacy, Data Protection and Allied Existing Regime

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Written by: Ms Shalini Gupta


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is generally understood as the capacity of a machine to perform mental or physical tasks that are typical of humans. Its recent success is mainly due to the success of Machine Learning.[1] Artificial intelligence had made the work so easy for human beings that these days humans mostly rely on machines. Its application has grown very much in the last few years. Artificial Intelligence systems are described as a technological breakthrough that will completely transform our society and economy. But the growth of AI has it’s implications on data protection.

Data protection means to protect the important information from being leaked, altered, corruption or loss. These days, it is very important to protect our personal data as the criminals can use these personal data and using these data, they can misuse them and attack the families. In the European Union, data protection is a fundamental right, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the new framework for protecting that right.[2]

Recently, the Government of India has banned several Chinese applications because China was collecting personal information of users through these applications without their prior permission. Therefore, by the growing use of artificial intelligence, data protection is being compromised.


AI is wholly based on data generated and is gathered from various sources and hence a biased data set could lead to a biased decision by the system.[3] There are various threats by the use of data by AI systems pose in terms of producing discriminatory outcomes as well as violations of privacy. The data can be illegal, discriminatory, manufacture, unreliable, or simply incomplete.[4] The more data transferred to AI, the more chance of leakage of data is there. Machines can be trusted but humans cannot. Humans can leak the data from the AIs also. Complete dependency on AI can be harmful to humans.

Right to privacy is one of the fundamental rights held by the Supreme Court enshrined under Article 21 which talks about the right to life and liberty.[5] Privacy (also called as data privacy or information privacy) is defined as the ability of an individual or an organization to decide when whom, and how much data in a computer system may be disclosed to a third party.[6]


In India, AI is still not so developed, unlike Japan. Here artificial intelligence means robots. If we talk about AI in India, it means it has a connection with machines and the data installed or saved in those machines. In India, there are no laws or legislation related to artificial intelligence. That means India has not proceeded as far as giving citizenship rights to a robot, unlike Saudi Arabia where there is Uber’s self-driving vehicle.[7]

This vehicle does not need any human to drive it. If the robots are made in India, it is very important to make laws related to it. Like if the robots leaked the personal data, what will be the penalty as the leakage of personal data can lead to dangerous crimes. What if the robot commits a crime like any kind of accident, murder or theft. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has constituted four committees to study the issues related to AI. NITI AYOG has also recommended for the establishment of ‘AIRAWAT’ in January 2020 which would work upon the AI.[8]

Use of Industrial robot has increased significantly and demonstrably in the manufacturing industry. Skilled robots are employed in various service sectors such as restaurants or hospitals. If India brings robots, firstly it is very important for India to enact laws so that it can work without any disturbance.

The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 provides a legal framework for protecting personal data in India. It has been made after the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  APEC Privacy Framework also provides the framework in matters of technology and protection.[9]


There is no doubt that life has become easier after the invention of AI. AI has reduced the burden of human beings. But it is also a fact that we cannot trust humans. AI runs on the command of humans only. But the human who has the intention of leaking some data can hack those AI and take personal information and can misuse it. If AI had committed any mistake or crime, then who will be responsible for it.

To safeguard the integration of AI, a balanced approach would need to be adopted which efficiently regulates the functioning of AI systems but also maximizes its benefits.[10] But there are not enough laws to protect these data under such circumstances.

We cannot deny the fact that artificial intelligence is the future for our country. But there are certain drawbacks also like unemployment of labourers, lack of human intelligence etc. In the absence of a regulatory framework, stakeholders should strive towards implementing measures that would protect them from unforeseen consequences and liabilities that may arise in the course of use and implementation of AI technology.


[1] Chiara Addis, Maria Kutar, General Data Protection regulation, Artificial Intelligence and UK organisations: A year of implementation of GDPR, AISEL (Apr 29, 2020),

[2] Estelle Masse, Data protection: why it matters and how to protect it, ACCESSNOW (Jan 25, 2018),

[3] Ibid.

[4] Lilian Mitrou, Whether the general data protection regulation is AI-proof, IPCPROF (Jun 18, 2019),

[5] Justice K.S. Puttaswamy vs Union of India, (2017) 10 S.C.C. 1 (India).

[6] Ram Govind Singh & Sushmita Ruj, A technical look at the Indian Personal Data Protection Bill, CS.CR (May 28,2020),

[7] Priya Barua, Artificial Intelligence and law, LTJ (Feb 24, 2019),

[8] Kunal Kislay, Ethics, Privacy and global laws in AI Adoption: Where does India stand, INC42 (Sept 6, 2020),,current%20gross%20value%20in%202035.&text=Another%20step%2C%20on%20the%20recommendation,an%20AI%20explicit%20machine%20framework.

[9] Shubhangi Khandelwal, Artificial Intelligence and the need for data protection in legal system, THEDAILYGUARDIAN (Oct 7, 2020, 5:54 AM),

[10] Pallavi Gupta, Artificial intelligence: Legal challenge in India, RESEARCHGATE (May 2019), file:///C:/Users/shali/Downloads/artificialintelligence.pdf.


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