Sat. Nov 27th, 2021

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers has introduced legislation that would give people more control over algorithms that shape their online experiences. If passed, d Filter Bubble Transparency Act Companies like Meta need to offer a version of their platforms that run on an “input-transparent” algorithm that does not drag user data to generate recommendations.

The bill would not completely eliminate “opaque” recommendation algorithms, but would require the inclusion of a toggle that would allow people to block that functionality. Additionally, platforms that continue to use recommendation algorithms need to have a notification that informs people that these recommendations are based on assumptions generated by their personal data. The prompt may be a one-time notice, but the proposed bill requires that it be presented in a “clear, explicit manner.”

The law was introduced by representatives Ken Buck (R-CO), David Cecilin (D-RI), Lori Trahan (D-MA) and Burgess Owens (R-UT). It’s one Companion Bill South Dakota Senator John Thun and Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal introduced the law last June. “Consumers should have the option to engage with Internet platforms without being driven by secret algorithms driven by user-specific data,” Buck said. Axios, The first outlet to report on the law.

Lawmakers have often criticized social media giants for using recommended algorithms to increase user engagement, but so far, little legal action has been taken to prevent their use. More than one group has been killed since the January 6 attack on the US Capitol 30 democratic lawmakers Meta (Then known as Facebook), Twitter and YouTube have made significant changes to their recommendation engine but have finally stopped due to the threat of regulatory action. Although the Filter Bubble Transparency Act has bipartisan support across the House and Senate, it is unclear whether it will pass.

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