Algorithmic Accountability Act Will Force Companies to Check for Coded Bias

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Democratic Senators have introduced a bill that would require companies to check for bias in algorithms.

Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.) introduced the Algorithmic Accountability Act, which will ask the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to require companies to evaluate “highly sensitive automated decision systems” to find bias and privacy risks.

In a statement, Booker said his family faced a practice called “real estate steering,” which deters Black couples from buying homes in certain neighborhoods. The presidential hopeful said it was important that companies are required to identify the bias in algorithms and other tools it uses.

“The discrimination that my family faced in 1969 can be significantly harder to detect in 2019: houses that you never know are for sale, job opportunities that never present themselves, and financing that you never become aware of — all due…

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