Cyberspace watchdog to rectify misuse of algorithms

Cybersecurity Photo: IC

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), the country’s top cyberspace regulator, said it would make cracking down on algorithm-induced information cocoons and algorithmic discrimination one of the 10 goals of its grinding programs in 2022.

An information cocoon is a phenomenon in which, when faced with a lot of information online, people tend to see only what they want to see and see their horizons shrink, a process that is reinforced by the use of algorithms. Algorithmic discrimination refers to biased results instead of those from a neutral position.

The watchdog said it launched a rule targeting algorithm recommendations, which came into force on March 1, to hold internet platform companies accountable and incentivize the rectification of anomalies based on misapplication of the rules. algorithms.

Another rule issued in January specified that service providers should not use algorithms to sway public opinion to circumvent oversight and management, or act monopolistically and engage in unfair competition.

It is also stated that the algorithms should not be used to engage in illegal activities or for the dissemination of illegal information.

Since last year, China has tightened surveillance of internet companies, and some major internet companies are being scrutinized for various illegal activities.

Market watchers said that in the area of ​​internet technology company regulation, China’s concerns mirror those of most Western governments over market power and the use of data, as well as the role of algorithms. used by platforms to promote targeted sales.

This decision was announced along with measures in nine other directions to promote the healthy development of activity in cyberspace.

Sharon D. Cole