AI regulation in Brazil awaits definition of responsible body

In the final phase of discussions on the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI) in Brazil, the National Congress is awaiting a decision from the government to determine which body will be responsible for controlling this sector. Two options are gaining prominence in this debate: the National Telecommunications Agency (Anatel) and the National Data Protection Authority (ANPD).

The choice of the regulatory body is fundamental to guarantee efficiency and security in the development and implementation of AI in the country. The text by the president of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco (PSD-MG), indicates that the competent authority will “ensure, implement and monitor the compliance with the law.

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Anatel or ANPD, who will regulate AI in Brazil?

  • As the ValueAnatel, which regulates telecommunications, has a structure and experience that could be used to monitor and control the use of AI;
  • On the other hand, the ANPD, which already works to protect personal data, could also play this role, considering that privacy and security are crucial issues in the use of AI;
  • The definition of who will be responsible for regulating AI has generated intense debates among parliamentarians, experts and market representatives;
  • Some argue that Anatel would be the most appropriate option as it already has technical knowledge and a consolidated structure;
  • Others argue that the ANPD would be more appropriate, given its focus on data protection, which becomes even more relevant with the rapid advancement of AI.

Important and controversial points of the proposal speak about the classification of each sector, which can be “excessive risk” or “high risk”, which determine how civil liability will be determined in the case of property, moral, individual or collective damages.

Image: TSViPhoto/Shutterstock

When talking about high-risk classification, one imagines “applications in the health sector, including those intended to assist diagnoses and medical procedures”, something that can be removed from the matter and left to the discretion of the future regulatory body.

“Arm wrestling” between ANPD and Anatel

The ANPD, in turn, is already making efforts to be this regulatory body. The municipality has already taken an official position on the situation and, with documents, argued that it should have such an attribution.

Its justification is exactly that AI has a direct connection with the protection of personal data. Members of the ANPD understand that the regulation and supervision of AI needs to come from an individual central body.

Anatel, through its president, Carlos Baigorri, argues that the agency has full competence to assume the role. “We defend Anatel as a regulator [da IA]. Not only because we are structured for this, but also because we have the vision that AI will be a technological tool that will increase productivity and that, therefore, we need to expand the use of AI in a responsible way”, he stated to Value.

Of course, we have to be careful that technology is not used in the wrong way, but more important than that is to spread the use of this technology so that people can be more efficient.

Carlos Baigorri, president of Anatel, in an interview with Value

It is important to highlight that AI regulation seeks to create standards and guidelines to ensure ethics and safety in the applications of this technology. After all, AI can be very beneficial to society, but it can also pose risks if there is not adequate oversight.

Anatel is in the running to be the official AI regulator in Brazil (Image: rafastockbr/Shutterstock)

The government, in turn, has not yet officially taken a position regarding the choice of the regulatory body. A decision is awaited from the Executive so that the bill can advance in Congress. This decision will be crucial in directing the next steps in building a solid and efficient regulatory framework for AI in the country.

Although it is the great challenge, no one doubts that AI has to be regulated anymore, the question is how to regulate it. It is an answer that Congress needs to give to society, especially due to the wide use of this tool.

Fabricio da Mota Alves, partner at Serur Advogados, in an interview with Value

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