LL.M. Grad Maria Viveiros: Bridging Technology and Law in Cybersecurity

By Darian Quinn
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Maria Viveiros ‘23, an inspiring cybersecurity and data privacy figure, is a recent graduate from Albany Law School's online LL.M. program. Her journey in the program has been nothing short of transformative, aiding her drive to prepare the insurance industry for the future of artificial intelligence (AI).

While working in the insurance industry, Viveiros recognized the increasing prevalence of cybersecurity regulations impacting her field. This realization propelled her to deepen her understanding of cybersecurity, leading her to the Cybersecurity and Data Privacy LL.M. program in Albany Law School’s Online Graduate Programs. Here, she found the perfect balance of non-technical, legal-focused education that she sought.

Viveiros embarked on an ambitious topic for her thesis – developing a governance framework for artificial intelligence in insurance underwriting. The thesis is broken down into two sections, the first of which is research, followed by the written component. Viveiros was able to utilize academic and legal databases and support provided by The Schaffer Law Library to gain access to otherwise difficult to find information.

She comments on currently evolving AI governance: "These regulations are specifically looking to the insurance industry regarding whether or not we are vulnerable to unconscious bias in our underwriting process." She continues to stress that machine learning is only as smart as the data fed into it. As humans, there is an inherent bias. She addresses the need for multifaceted approaches in regulation and policy, extending far beyond technical aspects. Viveiros's thesis heavily emphasized that frameworks must also encompass legal requirements, consumer rights, data protection, and transparency.

When asked if she would carry her project forward into her work, Viveiros commented that this was a significant part of why she chose this topic for her thesis. She commented on the current regulations, noting Colorado-specific laws, the AI Bill of Rights, EU governance, and the National Association of Insurance Companies' new model law being shared with states wishing to adopt AI regulation. 


Viveiros noted the importance of her company developing a framework and continues on to state, "I wanted to make sure that I had the knowledge so that I could contribute to that conversation and assist in developing that framework and again making sure that we're looking at it from a multivariate perspective." 

Throughout her time in the program, Viveiros appreciated the continuity in learning across various courses. She credits the program with significantly enhancing her knowledge and finding value in each class's diverse perspectives while continuously building on the most important topics currently facing professionals in the industry. She feels equipped to contribute to the governance framework more effectively in her organization.

“The degree is more than this piece of paper you're getting. You can actually use that knowledge,” she said.

Viveiros's journey in the Cybersecurity and Data Privacy program highlights the crucial role of legal professionals in navigating the technological landscape, particularly in fields like insurance. 

Viveiros exemplifies how the program equips students to be the critical bridge between the rapidly changing landscape of technology and law, ensuring they are well-prepared to address the challenges of tomorrow.


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