Who Is More Reliable in Terms of Data Privacy: AI or Humans?

Lilly Horn

11 October 2023

One of the most talked about topics in technology. It's easy to assume that AI carries inherent risks. Yet, the contrasts between human behavior and machine behavior are a bit more complex.

AI Errors vs. Human Errors 

As our machines get smarter, their mistakes become more noticeable. These errors mostly happen when the machines are learning and working, showing us that AI has both strengths and weaknesses. 

AI, with its incredible speed, accuracy, and fairness, has improved various industries and decision-making tasks. However, as AI has become more common, there have been incidents that show these systems can make mistakes, making us wonder if we can always trust them and who should be responsible when things go wrong. 

Types of AI Errors 

On one hand, AI demonstrates incredible abilities, surpassing humans in tasks like detecting cancer and making complex decisions. This is undoubtedly a game-changer. But alongside these successes, there are also failures, sometimes with significant consequences. 


AI systems can exhibit fragility when encountering new and unforeseen situations, raising concerns about how AI handles data privacy, especially in the face of challenges to its pattern recognition capabilities. 

Embedded Bias  

The concept of embedded bias in AI is a significant concern, as it means that biases present in the data used for AI training can influence the decisions it makes, with potential implications for data privacy and unintentional discrimination. 

Catastrophic Forgetting  

This introduces a new dimension where AI may forget previously acquired knowledge when exposed to new information, emphasizing the importance of incorporating old data while adapting to new knowledge. 


Transparency is critical for maintaining data privacy and adhering to regulations. Transparent AI decision-making can help reduce risks, ensuring accountability and safeguarding sensitive data from unclear algorithm control. 

Quantifying Uncertainty 

AI's struggle with uncertainty is a vital factor in assessing data privacy. Incidents like the Tesla autopilot serve as stark reminders, pushing companies to implement robust mechanisms to evaluate uncertainty and prevent privacy breaches. 

Common Sense 

From a data privacy perspective, Common Sense becomes critical. As AI struggles with understanding nuanced contexts, misinterpretations and misjudgments can have data privacy implications. This underscores the need for thorough checks to ensure that AI aligns with privacy protocols. 

Numerical Illiteracy 

A less-discussed problem with AI is its inability to solve mathematical problems proficiently. Addressing this challenge is essential to ensure data privacy and adherence to rules in scientific work. 

Real-world Examples 

Imagine a cutting-edge AI system employed by a mortgage lending institution to assess loan applications initially showed promise but revealed flaws as it expanded. In a striking instance of "Embedded Bias," it was revealed that the AI system exhibited discriminatory patterns. It consistently favored applicants from certain demographics, unintentionally disadvantaging applicants from marginalized communities. The root cause? The AI's training data, reflecting historical biases present in previous lending decisions. 

As the case gained attention, data privacy concerns were ignited. The AI system, because it had built-in biases, unintentionally made lending decisions that were unfair. This meant that some people were unfairly denied loans because the AI was biased. This unfairness raised questions about what's right and wrong and also about the laws that protect people's data, especially in places where those laws are strict. 

Additionally, transparency became an issue as applicants sought clarity on loan decisions. Unfortunately, the AI struggled to provide clear insights into its decision-making process, leaving applicants in the dark about the factors influencing their loan outcomes. 


A Look into Error-Free Protection 

At the heart of data management lie vendors – entities entrusted with crucial operational activities and sensitive information. Our utilization of cutting-edge technologies is exemplified through our adept use of AI in gathering comprehensive insights about vendors. Delving beyond surface-level details, we employ AI to meticulously extract information, shedding light on both the vendors and their operational intricacies. This entails a deep dive into stored data classes, establishing a comprehensive overview that ensures transparency and precision in vendor relations. 


The AI-Driven Record of Processing Activities 

Creating a flawless Record of Processing Activities (RoPA) requires a fusion of efficiency and precision. In this pursuit, AI proves to be an invaluable ally. By harnessing the precision capabilities of AI, we surpass conventional methods and expedite the process of RoPA creation, while relieving humans of this labor-intensive task. This harmonious synergy between human intelligence and machine precision ensures meticulous documentation that fulfills regulatory requirements with an elevated level of trust. 

A cornerstone of our approach is the unwavering commitment to routine reviews and preemptive quality checks. Data integrity and privacy are upheld through a systematic review of all processes.  

Moreover, a meticulous quality assessment is undertaken before data even enters our systems. This twofold strategy ensures that potential errors are identified and rectified at the earliest stages, upholding the highest standards of data privacy. 


Data Breaches and Missteps 

In the fast-paced digital landscape, data breaches and missteps are not solely the domain of machines; human errors play a significant role. Real-world scenarios of data breaches caused by lapses in judgment or protocol underscore the human factor in data privacy. 

In a world where artificial intelligence shapes the course of data privacy, understanding the intricacies of human-AI interaction and the potential errors that arise is paramount. From the critical balance between human insight and AI precision to the sobering reality of human-induced data breaches, the path to a secure data future demands our attention and proactive measures. 

By understanding the nuances of these mishaps, we gain insights into the evolving landscape of data privacy in the era of artificial intelligence. 


Human Misjudgments 

Nevertheless, human judgment plays a significant role. Extensive research by psychologists and neurologists has revealed the cognitive underpinnings of human errors, often rooted in biases and misjudgments. Overestimation of known factors, ignorance of unknowns, false correlations, and unwarranted certainty plague human decision-making. The implications are magnified in authoritative positions, particularly when decisions impact numerous lives. 

The range of human errors encompasses skill-based missteps in execution, rule-based errors in planning, and knowledge-based errors arising from flawed judgment. While errors may vary in frequency and severity, they consistently punctuate various industries, causing grave consequences. 


In conclusion, despite similarities, the most significant distinction between AI and human errors lies in their predictability. AI errors, being systematic and model-driven, are more foreseeable, making them more manageable. Human errors, on the other hand, are mired in unpredictability and often lead to catastrophic results. 

Human errors, though costly, also serve as learning opportunities, driving progress through their vulnerabilities. Combining AI's predictive expertise with human wisdom can potentially offer a roadmap to proactive error prevention. 

Real-world examples demonstrate that AI errors can indeed harm data privacy. The mortgage lending AI's bias affected marginalized groups, highlighting the importance of transparency. Data analytics must balance insights with privacy concerns. AI and human errors can have unpredictable results, but AI offers opportunities for prevention. To protect data privacy effectively, we need both human wisdom and AI precision. Recognizing AI's limits and leveraging its strengths, alongside human insights, creates a path to safeguard data. This combines innovation and accountability, upholding personal data integrity. 

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