New Illinois Law Puts Limits On AI In Video Interviews

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Aug 16, 2019

By its very nature, recruitment has always involved collecting and storing large amounts of candidate data to make informed hiring decisions. Technology has helped HR professionals access and organize all this information, and more recently, hiring teams are experimenting with artificial intelligence to analyze it.

While data protection has been a hot topic for quite some time, advances in technology (including the introduction of AI in the hiring process) are shedding light on potential privacy and legality concerns. That’s why new laws are popping up to ensure people’s personal data is stored, processed and utilized responsibly with the candidate’s consent. Recruiters and the companies they work for need to be prepared.

Video interviewing has become increasingly common because of its ability to save recruiters time and money — particularly in the early stages of refining the candidate pool. Now, we are seeing artificial intelligence integrated into the video interviewing process. Teamed up with facial recognition, AI is analyzing expressions, body language, eye contact, word choice, tone and the speed of each response to offer clues to a candidate’s personality.

The trouble with incorporating AI into video interviewing is that some may rely on it to the extent it supplants the human side of human resources. The core of hiring still lies in people hiring other well-qualified people who fit into a company’s culture. Recruiters who use AI-powered platforms are at risk of relying too heavily on something artificial, which can be prone to bias.

Illinois restricts AI in video hiring

The Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act is the latest legal action attempting to provide more structure and transparency to digital hiring practices. The act applies to anyone being hired for positions in the state of Illinois. It requires companies that wish to use AI-enabled video interviewing technology to take new measures, including:

  • Informing candidates that they are using AI to analyze video interviews
  • Explaining to candidates how the AI works and what it is used to assess
  • Obtaining consent from candidates before using AI to analyze the video
  • Sharing the video interviews only with those who require access to evaluate the applicant
  • Destroying the video interview (and all copies) within 30 days of the candidate’s request

The Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act is a progressive legal action, but it is not without its weaknesses. For example, the act does not define what AI means, nor does it provide clarity about the specific details an employer must disclose when explaining how it works. Moreover, there may be conflicts between this act and legal requirements to maintain copies of data for reasonably anticipated litigation. Despite these ambiguities, legislation around artificial intelligence use in the hiring process will likely be introduced to other states in the US, as well as other countries.

Europe’s privacy protections

Europe has one of the most extensive digital privacy laws in the world. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) protects the data of EU citizens, giving them a broad array of rights including the “right to be forgotten.”

The regulation, which became official in May 2018, requires companies that recruit and process job applicant data to reveal all the information it has on file about an individual when asked by the candidate. Under the GDPR, companies must rectify any inaccuracies and, at the candidate’s request, delete the information within 30 days.

The GDPR applies to all companies recruiting Europeans — regardless of whether the company itself is inside or outside EU borders. Fines for non-compliance to GDPR can amount up to a staggering €20M ($22.2 million US), or 4% of a company’s global revenue, whichever is higher.

Ensure compliance

Everyone involved in the hiring process should make an effort to educate themselves on the laws surrounding technology and HR. These regulations change all the time, so it’s important to regularly check for updates. Here are some other tips to remain compliant when using technology in the hiring process:

  • Choose a software partner hat guarantees to protect your applicant data the same way you do and in compliance with the all the laws
  • Exercise full transparency with regard to your procedures and privacy policy, explaining on your careers site how your company collects, processes, stores and protects personal data
  • Require applicants to provide informed and explicit consent when providing information
  • Give clear instructions on how applicants can request to reveal, rectify and/or delete their information
  • Consider consulting your legal team to make sure all bases are covered

A company’s most important asset is — and always will be — its people. Legal issues for candidates in GDPR countries or in locales that have rules on digital recordkeeping reminds us how important people are in the hiring process. While technology can certainly help recruiters do their jobs more efficiently, don’t overlook the importance of human judgment and experience.

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