‘Govt to prioritise AI laws’ as Peter Kyle takes top role

kyle new 2The new Labour Government might have got straight to work over the weekend as ministers grasped the job in hand but those calling for a revival of the Data Protection & Digital Information Bill – including the DMA and TechUK – could be in for a significant wait.

In fact, while new Secretary of State for Science, Innovation & Technology Peter Kyle has long championed artificial intelligence, he was one of a swathe of Labour MPs who voted for the DPIB to be “recommitted” to a Public Bill Committee after the Conversative Government tabled 240 amendments during the third reading of the Bill in the Commons back in November 2023.

While this was rejected by the Tories, the 11-th hour amendments caused hugh delays in the passage of the Bill through the House of Lords and ultimately led to its downfall.

Kyle also supported a number of key Opposition amendments to the Bill, including greater safeguards for anybody subject to automated decision-making; tougher measures against “high-risk” processing of personal data and new rules to ensure special category data, including health information, is adequately protected in workplace settings.

However, the Government blocked these changes.

Kyle also voted against a number of Tory amendments to the Bill, including one which would have allowed the sitting Goverment to bypass the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations – widely known as PECR – for “democratic engagement”.

But, despite being relatively quiet on data protection reform during the election campaign, some commentators have suggested Labour could seek to strengthen the legislation. At Labour’s 2023 party conference, delegates committed the party to “amend GDPR and the Equality Act to guard against discriminatory algorithms”.

In fact, Labour does seem interested in deepening the UK’s alignment with EU data regulations and, according to some reports, ministers want to pass the UK’s own version of the recently enacted EU AI Act.

The party is also considering new regulations on AI developers, similar to the EU’s AI Act, with those creating of general-purpose AI tools like ChatGPT obligated to take reasonable steps to ensure they are not involved in the production of fake content, or other harmful deepfakes. The proposals would also ban the use of deepfake creation tools that allow people to make false and obscene AI images by uploading images of real people.

Kyle recently said: “The capacity for deepfakes to harm individuals, undermine elections, and increase fraud has been clear for some time. The recent surge in nudification tools is deeply concerning.”

Last month, Labour also revealed plans to launch a Regulatory Innovation Office, designed to improve accountability and promote cross-sector innovation in regulation.

In sharp contrast to the Tory Government, Labour also said it would make the voluntary AI safety rules legally binding, putting them on a “statutory footing”.

At the time, Kyle explained: “We would legislate to require the frontier AI labs to release their safety data. That’s to make sure we legislate the standards that are already in the voluntary code.

“We don’t seek to disrupt the voluntary code, but we will certainly will make sure the standards are maintained and that any new entrants into the market will know that there’s a legislative foundation that must be adhered to.”

Following the election result, the Advertising Association, ISBA and the IPA all welcomed the new Government; the DMA has yet to comment.

Related stories
Industry vows to work with Labour to boost UK economy
Last-ditch call for next Govt to resurrect data reforms
Rise in election hate speech sparks online ad warning 
Labour and Tories ramp up mailshots as election looms
Middle class ‘in crisis’ as parties gear up for final push
Sagacity data geeks predict result of general election
Unison exposes the ‘cons’ in outdoor election campaign
When will politicians and pollsters tap marketing data?
Labour vows to put tech and AI at the heart of economy
Tories ditch new data reforms Bill in election manifesto
DMA calls on main parties to prioritise data, tech and AI
Cheers and boos as data reforms Bill ends up in the bin
Data reforms Bill ‘doomed’ as General Election is called

Print Friendly

Be the first to comment on "‘Govt to prioritise AI laws’ as Peter Kyle takes top role"

Leave a comment