Many companies are sitting on a trove of customer data and are realizing that this data can be valuable to train AI models. However, what some companies have not thought through, is whether they can actually use that data for this purpose. Sometimes this data is collected over many years, often long before a company thought to use it for training AI. The potential problem is that the privacy policies in effect when the data was collected may not have considered this use. The use of customer data in a manner that exceeds or otherwise is not permitted by the privacy policy in effect at the time the data was collected could be problematic. This has led to class action lawsuits and/or enforcement by the FTC. In some cases, the FTC has imposed a penalty known as “algorithmic disgorgement” to companies that use data to train AI models without proper authorization. This penalty is severe as it requires deletion of the data, the models, and the algorithms built with it. This can be an incredibly costly result.

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