Europe wants transparency about the algorithms of online platforms

Margrethe Vestager announces that the European Commission is preparing to require online platforms to be transparent about how their algorithms recommend content. According to the Vice President of the European Commission, it is supposed to “protect our democracy”. This applies to Google, Facebook, Twitter and other similar platforms.

“We cannot allow decisions that affect the future of our democracy to be made in secret by some company boards,” said Margrethe Vestager during a speech to AlgorithmWatch. She stated that the future digital services law would “make all digital services mandatory to cooperate with regulators”. Large platforms need to “provide more information about how their algorithms are working when regulators request it”.

These platforms need to “tell users how their recommender systems decide what content to display” so that they can judge whether to “trust the worldview they give”. They also need to “report regularly on the content of the moderation tools they use” and “get better information about the ads we see” in order to “have a better idea of ​​who is trying to influence us.”

The algorithms of the digital giants are singled out regularly. Some have already been manipulated, as was the case with Facebook during the current US presidential election and the Brexit referendum in the UK.