AI has been used to process patient data, biometric data, facial recognition data and geolocation data by various industries. But it has been criticized for potentially biased results and alleged invasion of user privacy.

During this global pandemic, AI industry leaders are applying their technology to new issues raised by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). AI can aid in combating COVID-19 and improve our response to future pandemics. To reach AI’s full potential in a health crisis, access to vast quantities of patient data is necessary.

Governments, working with companies, could create exceptions to privacy regulations and agree globally to share patient data during crises. If constructed carefully with the potential for liability for data misuse, regulations can provide the data necessary to improve pandemic responses while protecting individuals’ privacy.