EPIC To Congress: Require Algorithmic Transparency For Dominant Internet Firms

April 10, 2019

In advance of a hearing regarding the filtering practices of internet companies, EPIC has sent a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee. EPIC said that "algorithmic transparency" could help establish fairness, transparency, and accountability for much of what users see online. In 2011, EPIC sent a letter to the FTC stating that Google's acquisition of YouTube led to a skewing of search results after Google substituted its secret "relevance" ranking for the original objective ranking, based on hits and ratings. The FTC took no action on EPIC's complaint. But the European Commission found that Google rigged search results to give preference to its own shopping service. The European Commission required Google to change its algorithm to rank its own shopping comparison the same way it ranks its competitors.

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