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Exclusive: Senators unveil AI data consent bill

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Sens. Peter Welch and Ben Ray Luján on Tuesday will introduce a bill that would require companies to get people's consent before using their data to train AI models.

Why it matters: Americans' personal data is fueling the explosion of both generative and predictive AI in a country where there are no federal privacy protections in place.

The AI CONSENT Act, shared first with Axios, would require online platforms to obtain a person's expressed and informed consent before using personally identifiable data to train an AI system.

  • Companies would have to explain how a person's data will be used and make clear that it's within their right to withhold consent.
  • The FTC would enforce the law, taking into consideration the impact of "consumer fatigue" from too much exposure to the disclosures.

"We cannot allow the public to be caught in the crossfire of a data arms race, which is why these privacy protections are so crucial," Welch said in an email.

  • Luján: The use of personal data by online platforms already poses "great risks to our communities, and artificial intelligence increases the potential for misuse."
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