Newly introduced legislation wants internet giants such as Google, Facebook and more to reveal their algorithms that they use to monitor search results. The bipartisan Filter Bubble Transparency Act also demands that the online companies to offer consumers an unfiltered search option, which is ideally without any algorithmic tinkering.
The bill was filed by Senator John Thune, a Republican from North Dakota, and the legislation was co-sponsored by Republican Senators Jerry Moran of Kansas and Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee, also Democrats Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Mark Warner of Virginia.
Senator Thune in a recent interview spoke about how this legislation was needed as people are becoming increasingly impatient due to the lack of transparency by these giant internet houses. If the bill is passed people will be offered more choices on how their search results are received, with no other regulations that can be legally challenged by the companies. Senator Thune in his interview also said, “It’s a way of giving consumers more control, consistent with the light touch approach I believe in.”
Alphabet, which owns Google, Facebook and many other internet companies rely on algorithms that track consumers behaviour and location and then share content based on the users’ searches. Many conservative critics have also claimed that these tech companies use algorithms to leave out certain point of view and are usually engaged in online political censorship.
Senator Thune also claimed that he opted for this legislation as he feared that these algorithms could emotionally exploit users by increasing their anger and making them use a particular online service longer than they would ideally use. If approved even The US Federal Trade Commission in charge of enforcement would be charged with enforcement of the transparency act.