Personal Robots and Personal Data
Gizem Gültekin Várkonyi
Assistant Coordinator, PhD Fellow
University of Szeged
Faculty of Law and Political Sciences
In this blog post, I argue whether, and at what level, it is possible to exercise right to personal data protection in the era of Social Robots with Artificial Intelligence (hereafter, Social Robot). I analyze the concept of consent that was strengthened in European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). I basically reach to such a conclusion that, a Social Robot at personal usage challenges practicability of the GDPR. This conclusion derives from, first, Social Robot’s ability to collect vast amount of data naturally, e.g. via natural Human-Robot Interaction, or when it connects to Internet. Since a personal Social Robot’s life source, its blood, is personal data, it would be absurd for a user to not to give consent to get more personal services. In addition, it is well-known that most of the users do not read/listen consent texts, or do not understand even if they do so. Moreover, it is not easy to answer to the question of whether consent could be validly given for purposes that even the developer is not able to foresee (Unpredictable by Design). Finally, even if consent was validly given, it is not possible to make Social Robot to “forget” about the personal data in subject, in case when a particular personal data became an organic part of robot’s Neural Network. Otherwise, how consent could be withdrawn from a Social Robot should also be questioned.