Senators Reintroduce Bipartisan Legislation to Increase Transparency on Internet Platforms

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Sens John Thune (R-SD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Mark Warner (D-VA) reintroduced the Filter Bubble Transparency Act (S.2024). The bill would require large-scale internet platforms that collect data from more than 1 million users and gross more than $50 million per year to provide greater transparency to consumers, and allow users to view content that has not been curated as a result of a secret algorithm. 

The Filter Bubble Transparency Act would require large-scale internet platforms to:

  1. Clearly notify its users that their platform creates a filter bubble that uses secret algorithms (computer-generated filters) to determine the order or manner in which information is delivered to users; and
  1. Provide its users with the option of a filter bubble-free view of the information they provide. The bill would enable users to transition between a customized, filter bubble-generated version of information and a non-filter bubble version.

The proposed legislation would make it unlawful for any person to operate a covered internet platform that uses a secret algorithm unless the platform complies with the two above requirements. The Federal Trade Commission would enforce the legislation’s requirements, and it would be authorized to seek civil penalties for knowing violations.  

Thune, Colleagues Reintroduce Bipartisan Bill to Increase Internet Platform Transparency