/ Cyberspace Camp Gathers More than 150 Lawyers in its Fourth Edition25 August, 2021
Artificial intelligence, digital rights, e-commerce, regulatory sandboxes and personal data protection were the topics that ministerial authorities, technology experts and academics addressed during the two days of the fourth edition, first time online, of the traditional ITechLaw meeting in Chile.
On the mornings of August 24 and 25, 2021, Chilean experts and international guests spoke to an audience of more than 150 lawyers about the current challenges of artificial intelligence and the protection of personal data in a digital economy.
The meeting, organized by ITechLaw, the Law, Science and Technology program of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC) and Alessandri Abogados for the fourth time in Chile, called Cyberspace Camp™, is an international platform of lawyers with extensive experience, created to interact with young professionals from the Andean region and share their experiences on law and technology in each of their jurisdictions.
First Day: Artificial Intelligence and Digital Rights in the New Chilean Constitution.
Matías Aránguiz, deputy director of the Law, Science and Technology program at PUC Law School, moderated the first session in which the panelists shared their views on AI and how digital rights should be addressed in the new Chilean Constitution.
Andrés Couve, Minister of Science and Technology, began Tuesday’s session by commenting on the draft of the Chilean government’s artificial intelligence policy that aims to insert our country in the international technological vanguard. The minister mentioned three axes:
- Enabling factors: basal elements that make possible the use and development of artificial intelligence (people, infrastructure and data). “We have incorporated public and public-private initiatives, such as scholarships for digital talent, and professional technical education in technology.”
- Development and adoption of artificial intelligence: this axis responds to the question of how technologies can be incorporated into the productive market. “Here we find academia, the Government, the productive sector and civil society. We work with start-ups, Corfo’s programs for economic reactivation, working groups, etc.”
- Ethical and regulatory issues associated with work: addressing the impacts of technology and how to mitigate risks (working groups to discuss regulatory sandboxes, cybersecurity, etc.).
“If there is one thing that differentiates countries, it is governance”, said constituent Felipe Harboe. Regarding the policy presented by the minister, the former senator said that in his opinion the axis of digital talent is elementary, since a large sector of the population is lacking digital culture. “As long as we do not have a formal evaluation system in technological knowledge from early training and continuously, we will not have the incentives to increase digital development” said the constituent.
On how to install the technological scopes in the new Constitution, former senator Harboe commented that “constitutions have three types of norms: values, principles and regulatory and operational norms. We need to write principles, government’s obligations and citizens’ rights on artificial intelligence to have a harmonious and comprehensive regulation”.
From ITechLaw they highlight the plurality of Chile in making a citizen consultation for the draft policy on AI, which gives richness to the theoretical framework. They also urge to develop it to land the regulatory elements. “Technology is neither good nor bad. The uses are those that have ethical decisions associated with them,” said Diego Fernandez, partner at Marval O’Farrel & Mairal (Argentina) and member of ITechLaw’s executive committee. The lawyer added that the association has a free AI framework (general principles policy) that was made by 54 experts representing 18 countries. “Many of ITechLaw’s principles are mentioned in the axes that the minister mentioned,” said Diego.
Victoria Hurtado, director of Microsystem S.A., emphasized that “the definition of AI for an engineer is data and more data” and focused on the importance of data quality because “the more data we have, the more risk we have to cyber-attacks”. Victoria brought to the conversation concepts such as data shame (when organizations are embarrassed to show their data) and data lakes (repository of stored raw data).
“We lawyers have to deal with an anarchic world that doesn’t like to be regulated and works with algorithms that are like black boxes. Technology has its sweet and sour side and we have to address both of them. There are issues that we do have to regulate”, said Victoria, but she warned that if we fall into excessive regulation at the constitutional level we may fall into immobility.
Regarding the possibility of stalling the digital process, Macarena Gatica, partner of Alessandri and co-chair of the Digital Regulations Committee Amcham, said that “we are at a very early stage, if we start regulating, what Victoria says will happen”. For the lawyer, self-regulation as governance within a company or institution is a principle that should be implemented in every sense, for an adequate risk recognition.
Our partner also pointed out that the Government could be a great data collector to which we could all have access with proper cybersecurity safeguards. “The problem is that we don’t have a security standard to protect that data either” she warned.
Second Day: E-commerce and Personal Data Protection
Second-day moderator was Rodrigo Velasco, partner of Alessandri Abogados, Vice-Chair Latin American Committee and director of ITechLaw. During the event, the boom in e-commerce and personal data protection were discussed.
Julio Pertuzé, Undersecretary of Economy, opened the session with an introduction on data. “When we talk about data being the new oil, we are wrong. They are the substrate on which the digital economy grows (…) If I occupy a piece of data I do not deprive another person of being able to use it. They are not exclusive, which provides great economic value and new opportunities for innovation”, said Julio.
The undersecretary also highlighted that a regulatory framework is required to exploit the potential of digital environments and safeguard people’s rights. “That is why the bill is being discussed again in the Senate”. However, he warned again about the risk of over-regulation already discussed the day before. That is why he supports spaces of flexibility in the norms, since technology advances faster than the regulatory frameworks.
The Ministry of Economy is promoting a regulatory approach called regulatory sandboxes, a safe space to test products, services and business models where regulator and regulated learn under the supervision of civil society. The first Chilean sandbox is about AI as it is framed under a government policy.
Claudia Cardoso, Data Protection Compliance Manager at Falabella, explained that data is very important for any retail company and without proper regulation, Chile will remain unsafe in data protection issues, which would affect foreign investment. “We must promote the personal data law to assimilate our standard to international practice and also promote self-regulation in companies. Innovation and the market move faster than the rules of each country, therefore, companies must react and incorporate principles of ethical conduct in their economic conduct,” she said.
On the data protection bill No. 11.144-07, Carolina Cabrera, Senior Manager Contracting at Accenture, commented that we are in a key period. “It is necessary that the law to be enacted as soon as possible so that we do not keep modifying other areas or other laws to safeguard our data.”
From Accenture’s point of view, data is necessary to attract investors from multinational companies. “At Accenture we find local companies that work with multinational companies which do not understand that, although the law is not approved, they do have to comply with international standards,” said Carolina.
Regarding Sernac’s supervisory powers over consumer data in the pro-consumer law, Rodrigo Momberg, professor at PUCV and counselor at Alessandri Abogados, was categorical in his opinion. To the question of whether the personal data agency (proposed in bill No. 11.144-07) should have shared powers with Sernac, the lawyer explained that there are contradictory elements. “How attractive is it to make a sandbox on technology and data if there is another Government institution that can come to the supposed safe space to request or denounce conducts”?