Senator Markey, Rep. Matsui Introduce Bill to Increase Transparency and Decrease Discrimination in Algorithms

Senator Ed Markey (MA) and Representative Doris Matsui (CA) introduced the Algorithmic Justice and Online Transparency Act of 2021 today. The bill prohibits discrimination based on protected classes for algorithmic processes on online platforms, requires online platform companies to create and maintain documentation about their algorithms for review by the FTC, and sets out a standard for what safe and effective algorithmic processes would be. The bill also calls for the creation of an inter-agency task force to investigate discriminatory algorithmic processes including the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Education, Department of Justice, and the Department of Commerce. EPIC endorses the bill, and has been advocating for Algorithmic Transparency and Equity, specifically urging state, federal, and international governments to regulate harmful AI guided by the Universal Guidelines for AI. Last year, EPIC petitioned the FTC to establish a rule making regulating algorithmic tools in order to address discrimination.

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