EPIC Promotes 'Algorithmic Transparency' for Political Ads

In comments to the Federal Election Commission, EPIC urged new rules to require transparency for online political ads. EPIC said voters should "know as much about advertisers as advertisers know about voters." EPIC called for algorithmic transparency which would require advertisers to disclose the demographic factors behind targeted political ads, as well as the source and payment. The FEC reopened a comment period on proposed rules "in light of developments." This week representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google testified at two Senate hearings on the role that social media played in Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Senators Klobuchar (D-MN), Warner (D-VA), and McCain (R-AZ) have also introduced a bipartisan bill that would require increased disclosures for online political advertisements. EPIC's Project on Democracy and Cybersecurity, established after the 2016 presidential election, seeks to safeguard democratic institutions from various forms of cyber attack.


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