Algorithmic Liability Act Would Target Unintentional Racial Bias in Commercial Algorithms

Most Americans believe in equal opportunity for all. But equal opportunity is being undermined as companies increasingly delegate life-changing decisions to algorithms that reinforce the discrimination that black communities have fought to ban in offline spaces. Humans introduce racial bias into algorithms, resulting in algorithms used by car insurance companies that can determine higher insurance rates for people living in predominantly black communities, exclude women from seeing certain job postings, rejecting qualified black students for school admissions, or deprioritizing black patients for caring.

The “ColorofChange” advocacy group states that “algorithmic accountability is the only proven method to prevent algorithmic biasesand this requires evaluating algorithms, removing discriminatory datasets, and suspending the use of discriminatory algorithms.

That’s why the group is urging Congress to pass the Algorithmic Accountability Act to protect us from algorithmic discrimination in important life decisions, like getting housing, education, jobs. or a credit. The law project :

• Require assessments that will help protect black people from automated discrimination.

• Target decisions made in the context of housing, health care, education, employment, credit and insurance.

• Give the Federal Trade Commission the authority and staff to require these assessments.

Please urge your members of Congress to support this bill.

Rus Smith,


Sharon D. Cole