A number of federal regulators, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, yesterday affirmed their commitment to ensuring that artificial intelligence does not violate the rights or take advantage of consumers.
The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, the CFPB, the FTC, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a joint statement outlining their commitment to enforce relevant laws and regulations.
These agencies have previously expressed concerns about potentially harmful AI applications and have resolved to enforce their collective authorities to monitor such systems’ development and usage. Key concerns addressed include black box algorithms, algorithmic marketing, abusive AI technology usage, digital redlining, and repeat offenders’ use of AI.
“We already see how AI tools can turbocharge fraud and automate discrimination, and we won’t hesitate to use the full scope of our legal authorities to protect Americans from these threats,” said Lina Khan, chair of the FTC. “Technological advances can deliver critical innovation — but claims of innovation must not be cover for lawbreaking. There is no AI exemption to the laws on the books, and the FTC will vigorously enforce the law to combat unfair or deceptive practices or unfair methods of competition.”
The CFPB has taken several steps to protect consumers from violations, such as issuing interpretive rules on digital marketers, proposing a registry to detect repeat offenders, and launching a whistleblower channel for tech workers. It will continue to collaborate with the DOJ, FTC, and EEOC to enforce federal consumer financial protection laws, whether violations occur through traditional means or advanced technologies.
“When consumers and regulators do not know how decisions are made by artificial intelligence, consumers are unable to participate in a fair and competitive market free from bias,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra.
A white paper on the current chatbot market and its impact on consumers’ interactions with financial institutions will be released by the CFPB this spring. Financial services professionals must stay informed and adapt their practices to ensure compliance with these evolving regulations.