Why Compliance Matters When Dealing with AI and Finances
Saeid HejaziSaeid Hejazi

Why Compliance Matters When Dealing with AI and Finances

By Saeid Hejazi, Founder, Wally

Artificial intelligence has skyrocketed in popularity in recent months, particularly as the widespread availability and use of AI tools such as ChatGPT have spurred greater interest in technology. Leaders in many businesses and industries — including the financial sector — have seen the potential applications of AI and implemented them in exciting ways.

Nevertheless, it is crucial to adhere to strict compliance and regulatory standards to protect users and their data, especially in a business that deals with sensitive information.

Why compliance standards are important for AI

When people discuss their concerns about artificial intelligence, most people would cite the loss of jobs or the spreading of false information as their primary concerns. However, more people should be concerned about their cybersecurity and privacy being endangered by the use of AI. After all, AI models are able to rapidly process, store, and — perhaps more frighteningly — learn from massive amounts of information. This means that if a hacker can gain access, they have enormous amounts of data available they can then exploit for their own gain.

Compliance standards in the AI industry ensure that AI developers put the right protections in place to minimize or eliminate the risk to the data the algorithm is processing and storing. Some measures that should be standard include a legal obligation not to sell, rent, or share data with third parties, as well as ensuring that all regulatory requirements for data protection are met or exceeded.

What compliance standards are needed for AI

One of the most important considerations when it comes to the use of AI is user consent. From the user’s end, it is important to read the terms of use and understand what is being consented to. Meanwhile, from the operator’s end, enabling users to understand their consent clearly — such as allowing them to track their consent with intuitive tools and completely delete their data — is necessary not only for accountability but also for protection to ensure that users are informed of potential risks. This is especially vital for financial companies, whose user data is particularly sensitive.

Companies that implement AI into their practices while handling financial data should also implement stringent cybersecurity standards. The use of bank-level cybersecurity standards can ensure that systems and data are fully encrypted and protected, and any sensitive data stored in the system should have restricted access. Access to this data should only be granted to authorized and verified users with a legitimate reason to view or utilize it.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that cybersecurity is about being proactive. Entities employing AI who want to be proactive about protecting their data should pursue penetration and vulnerability testing from a professional service. Through penetration testing, the weaknesses of a program and its cybersecurity measures can be exposed before wrongdoers can ever exploit them, and fixes can be implemented to protect the data.

Still, there are certain types of data that users should avoid inputting into AI programs, and that the entities behind AI programs should avoid collecting and storing, regardless of how strong the system might seem. If an AI program contains user data that is typically valuable to wrongdoers — such as card payment information or usernames and passwords to banking accounts — it is more likely to be targeted for attacks, and therefore far more susceptible to data breaches. After all, the best method to protect against attacks is to prevent the attack from ever happening in the first place.

The truth is that, like any other tool they use, businesses will be held accountable for the risks created by their use of artificial intelligence. That isn’t to say that businesses should not implement AI — it is a powerful tool with numerous exciting implications — but it is vital that companies use this technology safely and responsibly. Compliance standards are the best method to ensure that these measures are appropriately met.

About the Author

Why Compliance Matters When Dealing with AI and FinancesSaeid Hejazi is the Co-Founder of Wally, a personal finance app that helps people worldwide track and manage their finances. The app is free to download and use, and it connects with 15,000 banks from 70 countries and has been lauded for giving people insights into their finances in a straightforward way.

Saeid graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy and went to study computer science at York University in Canada. After winning a national business plan competition in his senior year, he turned the idea into a startup called Nahel which eventually became the “Amazon of the Middle East” and was later acquired by Aramex in 2013.

Saeid can be reached online at Linkedin  and at our company website https://www.wally.me/

October 26, 2023

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