Implications of the AI Act & upcoming regulations: the importance of streamlined governance

The EU’s AI Act marks a significant shift in how AI systems are regulated across Europe. This landmark legislation aims to ensure that AI is used safely and ethically. While there is a grace period before full enforcement, it’s crucial for organisations to start preparing now. Keep reading to learn more about the implications of the EU AI Act and the importance of getting a head start. 

Compliance timelines and why early action matters

Once the AI Act enters into force, your organisation must comply with the corresponding regulations according to this timeline: 

  • Prohibited AI systems - within 6 months
  • General Purpose AI (GPAI) - within 12 months
  • High-risk AI systems (Annex III) - within 24 months
  • High-risk AI systems (Annex II) - within 36 months

Additionally, codes of practice must be ready within 9 months of the Act's entry into force.

These timelines might seem generous, but waiting to prepare could put your organisation at risk. If you don’t keep track of AI use, you could face security issues, privacy breaches, severe fines, and damage to your reputation. Starting early helps build strong AI governance, raise awareness, and monitor AI adoption throughout the organisation. 

Keep in mind that the AI Act is the first regulation of this kind, but other frameworks may also come into play. By acting now, you can not only ensure you meet the regulations but also promote a culture of responsible AI use, reducing risks and making the most of AI technology safely and ethically.

The importance of mapping your AI systems and use cases 

Visibility is critical in AI governance, so a comprehensive inventory of all your AI usage ​​(systems, machine learning models and vendors) is essential. Mapping out your AI landscape helps you understand what you have, where it's used, and how it impacts your operations.

It’s especially important to avoid Shadow AI and Shadow IT, where AI systems and technologies are used without proper oversight. Without visibility, these hidden systems can pose significant risks to your organisation.

To effectively prepare for the AI Act, you must start tracking your AI use now. TrustWorks makes this easy by allowing you to monitor your data inventory, internal systems, and third-party vendors. You can identify and document all AI usage, including systems, machine learning models, and vendors, in real time. This ensures you meet transparency requirements and can even exceed them.

AI governance module - TrustWorks

Setting up is quick and straightforward, with the easy integration with SSO providers and other connectors provided within the TrustWorks platform, it just takes minutes to get started. Additionally, this step requires minimal involvement from the IT team, making it simple for any privacy team to monitor changes within the organisation autonomously, and also be able to identify Shadow AI cases. 

By maintaining a precise and updated inventory, you'll be better equipped to respond to the AI Act and future regulations, ensuring your organisation remains compliant and operates responsibly.

Why streamline AI governance & risk management

Streamlining AI governance and risk management is essential for any organisation that wants to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving landscape of AI regulation. Building a solid foundation of AI governance now can significantly increase awareness within your organisation and establish effective monitoring related to AI adoption.

With the EU AI Act on the horizon, it's clear that this will be just the first of many regulations. Other frameworks, such as NIST and ISO 42001, are also likely to impose additional requirements. By streamlining your AI governance and risk management processes, you ensure that your organisation is prepared for these evolving standards. With TrustWorks’ suite you can evaluate and classify the risks of your AI systems and ensure they safeguard people's rights and safety. 

Visit our AI governance guide landing page to learn more about what the AI Act means for your organisation and how TrustWorks can help you prepare. 

How to meet transparency and reporting requirements 

Meeting transparency and reporting requirements is crucial for both B2C and B2B contexts.

B2C: Users must be informed when they are interacting with AI. This ensures they are aware of AI's role in their experience and can make informed decisions.

B2B: Clients need to know if AI is being used, what data is being processed, and what controls are in place. 

Your organisation should:

  • Clearly communicate AI use to users and clients
  • Provide detailed information on data processing and AI controls
  • Regularly conduct and share AI assessments

Adopting responsible AI requires seamless collaboration

Responsible AI use begins with efficient collaboration across your organisation. However, many companies struggle with the cross-discipline cooperation needed for effective AI risk identification and management.

To build proper confidence in AI governance, all teams involved in AI systems and data protection must work together. While the privacy team may lead this process, they must be able to operate autonomously without too many dependencies or obstacles.

Ensuring efficient and agile processes involves:

  • Encouraging open communication between departments
  • Facilitating regular collaboration on AI and data protection issues
  • Empowering the privacy team to lead initiatives while ensuring they have the support and resources needed

TrustWorks provides the collaborative framework you need to ensure effortless compliance.  

Don’t risk it. Effortless compliance is possible

Preparing for the EU AI Act and other upcoming regulations is essential for your organisation’s success. The penalties for non-compliance are significant and can severely impact your business. Fines vary depending on the severity of the infringement: 

  • €7.5 million - €35 million
  • 1% - 7% of your global annual turnover

To avoid these steep penalties, it's essential to fully understand the AI Act and comply with its provisions. Partnering with TrustWorks provides the hands-on, proactive support you need to achieve effortless compliance. Working with our privacy experts, especially ones with a strong understanding of EU regulations, will ensure you navigate these complexities effectively.

By acting now and leveraging the right expertise, you can secure your organisation’s compliance, promote responsible AI use, and confidently move forward in this evolving regulatory landscape. 

Book a demo of TrustWorks' new AI Governance module and discover how it can help you comply with AI regulations seamlessly. Or just visit our AI governance guide to learn more about what the AI Act means for your organisation and how TrustWorks can help you prepare.

author

Pádraig O´Leary, PhD

CEO & Co-Founder