Government Signals Focus on AI Enforcement and Data Protection

Government officials underscored the importance of artificial intelligence (AI) enforcement and data protection during the American Bar Association’s 39th National Institute on White Collar Crime in March 2024. Specifically, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco indicated during her presentation that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is increasingly focused on preventing the misuse of AI and other disruptive technologies. To that end, prosecutors will be seeking stiffer sentences for both individual and corporate defendants where AI and disruptive technologies are deliberately misused to make a white-collar crime significantly more serious. Importantly, DOJ now expects companies to mitigate the risk of AI and disruptive technologies by specifically addressing them in their overall compliance efforts, and Monaco has directed the Criminal Division to incorporate assessments of disruptive technology risks into its guidance on the Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs.

Monaco’s remarks dovetailed with the focus of Assistant Attorney General for National Security Matthew Olsen’s presentation on data protection and Executive Order 14117 on “Preventing Access to Americans’ Bulk Sensitive Data and United States Government-Related Data by Countries of Concern” (the EO), which was signed into law on February 28, 2024. The EO authorizes the Attorney General to prevent large-scale transfer of American’s personal data to countries of concern, including China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela. Olsen indicated that his division is working with companies in the industry “like never before” as they develop the regulations because those companies are on the front lines in enforcing these national security tools. As these regulations and implementation of the EO continue to develop, companies should begin preparing now. The specific measures companies can and should take to avoid future compliance failures will be the focus of our next blog.

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