US: Congress wants Google’s search algorithms

U.S. lawmakers proposed new legislation last week that would require internet platforms to more or less lay bare the intellectual property that drives their business model – their algorithms.

The Filter Bubble Transparency Act targets “large-scale internet platforms” and the so-called “filter bubbles” they create when their “secret algorithms” are used to curate and personalize search returns. Since consumers don’t know what goes into creating those returns, the algorithms create the “filter bubbles” that the Act’s sponsors say are both manipulative to the consumer and harmful to innovation.

In practice, the Act would give consumers a “plain vanilla” search return option, devoid of the “filter bubbles” that lawmakers say are created when their browsing history, prior search queries, devices and locations are used to personalize and curate search results – in other words, garbage.

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