What Happens When Companies Fail in Data Protection. Simona Marincei Speaks about the Major Cases

The previous article in our Munich-AI Summit 2019 series, explored how and what Germany’s biggest mobile telecommunications operator, Telefónica Deutschland is doing in the field of AI, a talk conducted by our speakers, data scientists Patrick Walch and Laura-Luisa Velikonja. The summit, a first of its kind in the Munich area, was hosted already for the second time by Develandoo – AI Innovation LAB on October 8th, 2019. It was a real AI innovation hub hosting renowned speakers in the field, who presented their achievements and spoke about the future of AI.

Today’s article is devoted to a very important topic; data protection and privacy in AI. Our next speaker from SAP Simona Marincei explains the main concept of data privacy, GDPR and what happens when companies fail in data protection.

Simona holds an MBA in Business Intelligence at Grenoble Graduate School of Business. She has almost 20 years of program and portfolio management in software development and consulting. She leads teams of highly qualified and experienced ML experts and data scientists through the standard software development life-cycle. Her focus is on machine learning, big data and business intelligence and her management experience includes leadership of programs, projects and teams. Simona’s IT background includes extensive knowledge of Cloud, ML, BI and big data applications. Her expertise in the field is enhanced by BS in Cybernetics and an MIT Professional Education on Digital Transformation: from AI and IoT to Cloud, Blockchain and Cybersecurity. Not the last, Simona is a member of Torr.org one of the world’s most selective high IQ societies founded in 2010 by the president of the International High IQ Society, whose membership is limited to gifted individuals displaying an intelligence quotient occurring, same like the torr unit of pressure, 1/760.

Simona states that there are actually 2 particular issues with the personal identifiable information (PII) in AI which we face daily: first a very big part of the data we use in ML/AI are unstructured data (it’s easy to anonymize a column in a table with a label “Name” or “ID” but not so easy to identify and anonymize those data in unstructured data. Second, the term of PII is “clearly” defined as any information or combination of information which may lead to the identification of a person. Simona speaks based on particular examples related to different industries such as healthcare and raises question on how we can properly anonymize medical data knowing that a dental x-ray is used by police to identify peoples and actually any good amount of medical information would identify any person with a very high probability.

‘’British Airways faced $230 million fine after a website failure compromised the personal details of roughly 500.000 customers. Then there was another more interesting story related to Facebook. The European Union didn’t find too much on Facebook for the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, but the Federal Trade Commission from the US has approved a fine of roughly 5 billion for mishandling users’ personal information. I mean, even for Facebook it’s something and that is sending a very powerful message. The reason for it is actually the user consent. So the only thing Facebook was doing bad is that they had the consent of the user for that data. However, according to the regulation, you need to give a very exact and clear definition of how they process that data. And the problem with Facebook was that they didn’t mention that it will be for political profiling’’, says Simona further broadening this topic on the cases of Marriott, Google and others.

This was just a small piece from our speaker’s talk. If you want to learn more about this important topic, you can visit our youtube channel where you’ll find the videos of all the Munich AI Summit talks. 

We are thankful to all our sponsors (Fujitsu, Women in AI, Liquid Newsroom, Scylla and Urgestain, Wayra Germany), participants and the speakers for attending our Munich-AI Summit 2019, the one and only free event in Munich area related to AI.

As we have already informed, we have many big plans related to this initiative. We’re officially launching AI Summit in different countries. In 2020 our destination is Yerevan, the beautiful capital of Armenia. So stay tuned to our blog where we’ll share further details of our upcoming event.


Develandoo is the leading AI company in Armenia. As an innovation lab, Develandoo has successfully created over 30 products for global enterprises such as KPIT Germany and Welocalize USA.

Develandoo has also incubated three in-house startups which are leading the markets in their areas of expertise:

  1. Scylla – World’s leading gun detection system
  2. Cibola – World’s first in-store analytics system
  3. Protogen – Generic Tabular Data platform

For more information, please visit – https://develandoo.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/develandoo-com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/develandoo/


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