The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today seeking regulations for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.

EPIC – a public interest group that focuses on data privacy issues – said it decided to file the FTC petition after filing complaints regarding the use of AI in employment screening, as well as the secret scoring of young athletes.

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“The injuries caused to consumers by commercial AI use are substantial and frequently unavoidable,” EPIC wrote. “In assessing privacy-related injuries to consumers, the Commission typically focuses on the sensitivity of the personal data at issue, the relationship between the consumer and the business(es) engaged in the challenged practice, and the consumers’ knowledge of and agency over the practice,” the group said.

EPIC also pointed to sentiments of support at the FTC for updated regulations on AI use, including quoting FTC Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter as saying last month, “it is imperative for the FTC to take all action within its authority right now to protect consumers in this space.”

Additionally, EPIC took note of the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Guidance for Regulation of AI, pointing out that it “applies to all Federal agencies,” while incorporating many aspects of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Principles on AI.

“Only by initiating a rulemaking on AI can the Federal Trade Commission preserve the rights of American consumers, defend American values, protect privacy, and promote civil rights,” EPIC wrote.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.