AG Campbell advises that AI systems are subject to state consumer laws

By Peyton Benbow

Photo courtesy of MGN

Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell released an advisory on Tuesday indicating that the rise in AI use needs regulation. She warned AI developers, suppliers, and users that they were subject to the consumer protection and anti-discrimination laws in place in the state. On the day the advisory was released, Campbell spoke about her approach to AI at an event at UMass Boston.

“As AI usage becomes more common, this advisory serves as an important notice that our state’s consumer protection, anti-discrimination, and data privacy laws apply to AI, just as they would within any other applicable context, and my office intends to enforce these laws accordingly,” said AG Campbell.

The advisory listed some examples of what could breach the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, like supplying a falsely advertised or defective product or distorting audio or video of another person through actions like cloning or deep fakes. Campbell warned that developers consider AI a “black box” in which they are not sure of their products’ capabilities, so she advised that they must abide by the consumer protection laws in place when selling and advertising. In turn, AI developers, suppliers, and users must abide by the Commonwealth’s Anti-Discrimination Law, as she pointed out the possible biases in algorithmic decision-making systems. 

As the state warns they will enforce consumer protection laws onto AI systems, Campbell advised that state attorneys are “empowered” to prosecute such cases.