Amazon Web Services (AWS) are investing heavily in their Artificial Intelligence offerings. At Enabl AI, we are huge fans of AWS generally, and particularly the AI capabilities they have brought to market. They, along with other cloud providers – notably Microsoft and Google – are truly democratising what is possible for businesses of all sizes to achieve by providing low-cost, powerful AI capabilities for all.
It recently come to light that their default policies state that they can use the content processed by their services to train and develop their AI services and technologies. This means any images, text, audio etc. uploaded to their systems, possibly including your customer’s personal data, can be used by AWS for their own purposes. This also includes AWS potentially transferring your content to other regions to do this.
The sort of generalised Artificial Intelligence that AWS is providing typically requires large data sets to train the learning algorithms, so we can understand why AWS would want to do this, but for our own purposes, this isn’t something that is desirable for ourselves or a number of our clients – and since the ruling on 16th July 2020 by the European Court of Justice that effectively invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, this transfer of data might in some cases lead to a GDPR breach.
There has been plenty written on the ethics and the rights and wrongs of AWS’s position on this, which are interesting articles to read, but ultimately, we’re more interested in how to harness the best technologies available on the market and it’s difficult to deny that AWS is one of those technologies. Therefore, our focus quickly shifted to how to disable this option in AWS and ensure that we can provide the level of privacy and data sovereignty that our customers expect.