AI Marketing in 2024: How to Market Ethically and Comply with Rules

AI Marketing in 2024: How to Market Ethically and Comply with Rules

AI Marketing in 2024: How to Market Ethically and Comply with Rules

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    Artificial intelligence (AI) is generating a lot of buzz in the marketing world, and for good reason! This exciting technology has seen huge progress, especially generative AI which can create fresh content for marketers.  However, with any new tool comes questions about its impact. Marketers might be concerned about using AI responsibly and following the rules.

    This blog post will explore the existing regulations around AI, as well as those being developed. We’ll provide you with the information you need to leverage AI tools in your marketing campaigns while staying compliant with AI regulations.


    Understanding AI Compliance

    AI compliance is all about responsibly using artificial intelligence. It means following the guidelines and rules set by governments and experts to make sure AI is used fairly and safely. There are four key areas to think about when it comes to AI compliance:

    • Data Collection: This refers to how AI systems gather information. Compliance ensures this data is collected legally and ethically.
    • Disclosure: Organizations that use AI should be transparent about how it works and how it affects people.
    • Discrimination: AI shouldn’t be biased against any particular group. Compliance helps to prevent unfair treatment by AI systems.
    • Privacy: Keeping people’s personal information safe is crucial. Compliance ensures AI uses data responsibly and respects privacy.

    While there aren’t yet specific AI compliance laws everywhere,  governments are working on them.  In the meantime,  organizations using AI  should still follow existing laws on consumer protection and privacy.

    Common Compliance risks of AI in marketing

    Over half of marketers are already using AI for various tasks, from creating content to personalizing the customer experience and analyzing data. While AI offers a powerful set of tools, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks it can introduce to your digital marketing strategy. This is especially true if you’re developing your own AI tools in-house, or relying on pre-built AI systems from other companies. 

    Let’s delve deeper into some key areas to consider.

    Potential Biases in terms of Language and Content 

    AI is a powerful tool, but it’s only as good as the information it’s trained on. Unfortunately, our world is full of biases. If left unchecked, AI can actually reinforce these stereotypes by using outdated or offensive language.

    For example, imagine an AI program that creates content. It might use outdated terms that are no longer considered appropriate. This can be insensitive and disrespectful.

    Things get even more complex when AI is used for image recognition. Facial recognition software, in particular, has been shown to be biased against people of color and women. There was a well-documented case where Facebook’s AI identified a video of Black men as containing content “about primates.” 

    This is a serious mistake with real-world consequences.

    If you’re using AI for content creation or image classification, it’s crucial to have safeguards in place to catch these errors before your content goes public. By being mindful of potential biases, we can ensure that AI is used for good and represents everyone fairly.

    Facebook and Biased Ad Delivery

    Facebook has been facing criticism over biased ad delivery since 2016. Back then, advertisers could deliberately exclude certain ethnicities from seeing ads related to jobs and housing. This meant people from these groups were shut out of opportunities.

    More recently, the issue has grown even more complex. Facebook’s AI systems, designed to show relevant ads, have been found to be biased themselves. These algorithms have been shown to reinforce existing gender stereotypes in job postings. For example, a man might be more likely to see ads for mechanic jobs, while a woman might see more ads for nursing positions.

    Similarly, in housing ads, the algorithms have been accused of perpetuating racial stereotypes about income and social class. This means that someone from a particular race might be shown ads for less expensive neighborhoods, regardless of their actual financial situation.

    These issues are concerning because they are driven entirely by AI, not by the advertisers themselves. The advertisers set a target audience, but the AI chooses who actually sees the ad.

    In an effort to address such algorithmic discrimination, the European Commission recently passed a new AI Act. This act specifically bans social scoring practices that use social media behavior or personal characteristics to discriminate against groups of people.  The Act also highlights targeted job advertisements as a potential area of concern, aiming to ensure everyone has a fair shot at opportunities.

    Misinformation & Miscalculations

    Social media has become a breeding ground for misinformation, and even artificial intelligence (AI) is getting involved. Recently, deepfakes – manipulated videos or images that appear real – of singer Taylor Swift spread like wildfire on platform X. These deepfakes depicted her in compromising situations and even endorsing a political candidate.

    Beyond creating deepfakes, AI can also simply fabricate information. This has been seen in legal cases where AI-powered tools generated citations to nonexistent laws.

    While marketers likely wouldn’t create deepfakes themselves, it’s crucial to be cautious. Always double-check any “facts” suggested by AI tools for your content. Most importantly, verify the truth behind any photos, videos, or information before sharing it online.

    Data Security

    Digital marketers have always had a responsibility to protect customer data. However, the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has significantly heightened the stakes. AI tools can be misused by scammers, who can exploit even a single data point to create fake identities for fraudulent purposes.

    This critical situation demands a reassessment of data collection practices. Marketers must carefully consider the amount of customer data they truly need, particularly for leads. When data collection does occur, secure and compliant Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are essential for safe storage.

    Here’s a helpful tip: Reduce the number of places your data is stored by connecting your social media channels to your CRM through integrations offered by platforms like the Hootsuite App Directory.

    How Does AI Affect Existing Compliance Rules?

    For businesses in industries with strict rules, it’s crucial to see how AI impacts their ability to follow those rules.

    Let’s take a look at a couple of examples. In healthcare, both AI and HIPAA (a law protecting patient privacy) require strong measures to keep patient information confidential.  However, AI tools used to create content might not recognize what can and can’t be shared on social media. This is where human oversight becomes important to manage and reduce risks.

    Similar to HIPAA, AI and GDPR (another law regarding data privacy)  both focus on keeping information private. But, companies operating in Europe should also pay close attention to the new EU AI Act. This new law is the most important document to fully understand how AI interacts with regulations set by the European Union.

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