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From the algorithmic tyrant to the DNA market, and from the deepfake culture to the virtual resurrection: how we must redefine rights for the future

At the end of 2019 we can say without much doubt that it is a year that has given images and milestones that help to reduce the barriers that separate reality from science fiction.

A short time ago we saw that in the street demonstrations in Hong Kong,
Prodemocracy protesters used lasers to make it difficult to recognize the facial patterns that algorithms perform, since these systems are the tool used by the police and the authorities to identify protesters. The artificial intelligence that nourishes this software is the center of the controversy: its "effectiveness" and its legality place it today in a hot global debate about its use from which Argentina is not exempt.

This is also a year where
The deepfakes have definitely been consolidated. Beyond the astonishment and even the fun that the sophisticated use of these technologies can cause, what underlies is how much damage they can cause in the era of fake news and misinformation.

For example,
Lyrebird, a Montreal-based startup, uses artificial intelligence to recreate voices: if a piece of audio spoken by a person is offered to the software, it can be made to say anything with that same voice.

With these technologies, the protection of the rights of people and the damage against institutions, politicians and celebrities are at stake in a context where the updating of the legislation still does not have the exponential speed of technological change.

privacy in the digital age It is a recurring theme that leads to many legal complications, therefore, the Right to Individual Privacy is a field of advocacy to be booming, "says Juan Bello, VP Digital Solutions of GlobalLogic Argentina.

"Days ago I was wondering if what it shows could happen
The futuristic HBO series Years and Years and right now I have the feeling that is happening, is happening. And these changes, although they are facilitated by technology, are human changes "- says Diego Luque, Partner and Chief Strategy Officer of Picnic Latam-; we are in a time in full movement, before a change of era, shaping the future between the illusion of improvements and uncertainty. "

The "candidates" deepfake against misinformation


More questions than answers

Undoubtedly, we are facing unexplored territories where the law is far from coming.
dnaNUDGE is a startup that opened its doors this November in London urging people to a "better lifestyle based on your DNA". The proposal is to improve purchasing decisions taking into account genetic information. On the other side, there are already companies like
Nebula Genomics that offer people to own the genetic code to prevent it from being exploited (the patenting of the human genetic code is
circling since its first sequencing in 2000). on the other hand, is a company that seeks that individuals can monetize their own medical information. But there is a legal and ethical issue: for what purposes will this information be exploited? Can the dissemination of these data turn against people, their rights or access to health, insurance, work? How to prevent people in situations of need from being exploited?

But not only on health or DNA issues: death can also be commercialized (and transcendence after death). Last September, the producer of holographic shows BASE Hologram
announced the upcoming dates of "A night with Whitney: the Whitney Houston Hologram Tour", a series of tours to be held in 2020, where attendees will see a hologram of the singer singing and dancing on stage with digitally remastered arrangements.

And projects like seem to go after the idea that death does not amount to oblivion. Its creator built a chatbot that responds like his dead father. After compiling oral recordings I turned them into a "Dadbot",
a kind of voice assistant who answers queries with his father's family cadence. His project tries to "capture the true spirit of people and allow their stories to become immortal for their loved ones."

Will we have to clarify in the wills if we do not want our voice or our image to be used in any way after our death?

The rights of the future

In his book "Inevitable," Kevin Kelly – Wired editor and writer – states that everything digital can be replicated. "It is a world where software continues to eat the world, it is likely that all the characteristics that make us human beings are replicable. We are thinking more about entering a system than the consequences of it," explains Edwin Rager, strategy specialist .

For Fernando Tomeo, lawyer specializing in Digital Law, Privacy and Personal Data, the right of the future to go through aspects related to the algorithm industry, the internet of things and the universe of artificial intelligence. "All of them definitely impact on the digital identity, the protection of the privacy and personal data of the citizens. The education and digital awareness work from the family, the school institution and the State as well as a serious and reasonable regulation will be very important about disruptive technologies. "

Algorithms tend to reproduce the bias of those who formulated them or the data they use to improveAlgorithms tend to reproduce the bias of those who formulated them or the data they use to improve Credit: Shutterstock

Another more mundane assumption arises from the damages that may arise from augmented reality. "For example: if there is no preserved space for an augmented reality session, and I go out with a sword and a virtual reality mask to kill imaginary warriors on Florida Street, I can generate damage to the passers-by. Identical situation is already being raised. with the development of autonomous vehicles and the damage they produce to pedestrians,
in fact there are already lawsuits raised in the US for two cases that have occurred, "exemplifies Agustn Allende, a lawyer specializing in Regulations and Compliance in New Technologies.

There are also new areas where the ethical intersects with the development of technology. Angeles Cortesi, director of LOBO and specialist in futures design, believes that the most difficult challenges to solve will come from the side of the revolution in life sciences. "When it is possible to breed a child in a synthetic way, or that only some can access the technology that allows life to be prolonged, the greatest challenges will come: how do these possibilities coexist with our current concepts of the right to life, motherhood, fatherhood?" , reflect.

The algorithm's tyrant

According to Allende, one of the roles of the lawyers of the future will be to detect and try to correct
the biases that throw the algorithms and affect in some way the rights of the citizens. "Imagine the case of predictive justice that denies me a release or release from prison for mistakenly considering my likelihood of committing future crimes. Not accepting myself as a member of an insurance company because of my risk of getting sick under the behaviors that arise of different elements (sensors, behaviors on the Internet that predict that I do not play sports, I eat in a disorderly way and unhealthy products.) There are already specific regulations, such as in New York, which regulates the use of algorithms by the Public Administration ".

Juan Pablo Altmark, President of the Latin American Privacy Association, affirms that it is very likely that in the future there will be cases of discrimination produced by the algorithms themselves. And quote
the Chinese pilot project of Social Credit System, currently being tested in 12 cities. The objective is to analyze daily behaviors and that they have credits, which will generate a score of each citizen according to their contribution to the community, allowing them access to better jobs, better health services, better education for their children, more time free, etc. "The opposite will happen with those who do not contribute enough. The algorithm not only analyzes the behavior of the person but also that of their contacts, encouraging isolation of those unwanted individuals for the system."

Going to another field, artificial intelligence opens up other questions.
Not long ago, the first painting generated by an AI was sold, but the person who wrote the original code did not receive any money for the sale. "Who will take the gifts for copyright if tomorrow we generate a digital actor that is the mixture of two or more real people? And if an AI generates a melody from songs of the Beatles: who owns the song ? The problem we face is that technology advances much faster than culture and legislation, "Rager asks.

Portrait of Edmond Belamy, the first painting made by an algorithm that came to an auctionPortrait of Edmond Belamy, the first painting made by an algorithm that came to an auction Credit: Courtesy Christies

A race from behind

"So far we have been governed by rules that were prefabricated, phenomena that refer to other cases as a basis for jurisprudence, but in the last time various situations arose that make the conception of what is public and what is private absolutely out of short. The facts happen faster than our processing time, "says Luque.

As part of the launch of Google's smartphones Pixel 4, of a new smart speaker (Nest) and other products, the statement by Rick Osterloh, head of Google devices when responding to a journalist's question, about whether Homeowners should warn their guests that smart devices, such as a speaker such as Nest or Amazon Echo, are in use before entering home. "I had never thought about it that way. I will do it when someone enters my house, and it is probably something that the products themselves should try to indicate," the executive said quickly.

"Virtual assistants and other devices connected to the Internet need to be aligned with the data protection laws, where" default privacy "and" default security "should be the norm. The massification in the use of 5G requires greater commitment of all actors ", alerts Daniel Monastersky, lawyer specialized in computer crimes.

The conflicts between the law and the technology of the future will surely be linked to the impact of data analysis on a massive scale, which poses a strong dilemma.

"The possibility that can predict behaviors or even modify them will have an impact at the legal level. But, if it is strongly prohibited or restricted, what should be done with the other areas where the massive use of data will have an obvious benefit for society? For example, the massive use of data to predict behavior and attack in the best way cancer cells constitutes an obvious benefit for the whole society, not only from the point of view of health, but of sanitary management, etc. ", says Diego Yanni, Accenture Digital leader for Hispanic South America.

With technology advancing at a different speed from the subjects that are to be regulated, the countries with the highest number of norms on digital impact are related to the degree of digital transformation in their jurisdictions. Clear examples of draft regulations in states such as California or Washington, in the US, make it clear that these are reactions to situations experienced, for example in the case of facial recognition, and regulatory projects after experiences with that technology in San Francisco ", specifies Mara Kipperband, Director, Legal Counsel of Accenture for Hispanic South America.

In the European Union, substantial progress has been made in the protection of privacy and personal data with
the entry into force on May 25, 2018 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and national regulations issued accordingly. "The European Commission is studying the legislation on artificial intelligence and ethical development guidelines have already been established," Tomeo clarifies.

The GDPR establishes a heterogeneous regulatory framework in all Unin countries, creating new rights such as the Portability of Personal Data (something like numerical portability means being able to take personal data from one platform or service to another) and creating new rules of the game such as the extraterritorial application (that is, that applies to companies that are outside the European Union, but treat data of European residents) or new obligations for organizations such as "accountability" or "demonstrated responsibility" (concept that It implies that who must comply with the standard, also has the obligation to demonstrate to the supervisory authority that it does, this requires internal procedures, documentation, training, auditors).

"In the United States, the California State Privacy Act (CCPA) begins to take effect on January 1, which will be the prelude to a federal privacy and personal data protection standard in the United States," Tomeo explains.

There are also bills such as "Data Protection Act" (establishes fines of 4% revenue and up to 20 years in prison for CEOs of technology companies that violate privacy and security standards in the processing of data of American citizens), "Algorithmic Accountability Act "(law on algorithmic responsibility that obliges large technology companies to review their algorithms periodically and repair those that generate discriminatory, unfair or inaccurate decisions due to failures in the design or distortion of manipulated data) and" Deceptive Experiences To Online Users Reduction Act ", which prohibits
Large technology companies use deceptive designs known as "dark patterns" that are intended to intentionally manipulate users to perform actions that they would not otherwise carry out.

The Argentine legislation

In matters of privacy and data protection in Argentina, the National Constitution, the Civil and Commercial Code of the Nation governs,
and the law 25.326 of protection of personal data. "In the rest there is legislative vacuum," experts agree.

"Argentina, after being a pioneer in some matters, such as privacy at the beginning of the century, has always acted ex post facto, adopted a heterogeneous approach to the regulation of digital transformation, lagging behind in some areas (privacy) and proposing regulations that facilitate the adoption of new technologies ("cloud first policy", digital clinical history, etc.). All this depending on the jurisdictions in question: at the federal level, the city of Buenos Aires, etc. ", says Kipperband .

"However, against the sanction of the GDPR, the Executive Power sent in September 2018 a reform project to the Senate that tries to update the standard by equipping it with the new European standards. Unfortunately, the project has not been debated," says Altmark.

The palpable thing is that in addition to the logical doses of amazement and optimism, there is a strong sense of confusion and uncertainty regarding the technological vorgine.

Although digital transformation has to do with disruptions generated by and for people, the different speeds between technological change and the updating of human institutions require responsibility of all actors: there is a fundamental interpellation to the State and to the construction of society , and it is necessary to think about new rights and obligations, which focus on the defense of citizens and avoid technological abuses.


(tagsToTranslate) From algorithmic tyranny to the DNA market (t) and from deepfake culture to virtual resurrection: how we must redefine rights for the future – LA NACION

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