Access to digital data in the era of Artificial Intelligence – a human rights perspective

Although the performance of Artificial Intelligence is dependent on a combination of data, algorithms, and programming skills, it is data that ultimately determines the final result. For this reason, the availability and accessibility of high-quality data become vital for ensuring that everyone equally benefits from data-driven science and applications such as drug discovery or public services. Yet, the datasets collected by the public authorities are often of lower quality than the data compiled by the private actors. Striking the right balance between the public and private interests in accessing and/or releasing these data remains a challenge for the international human rights law. This paper provides an insight into the obligations of States in relation to the availability and accessibility of digital data based on the interpretation included in the General Comment on science and economic, social and cultural rights adopted by the UN CESCR in 2020.