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Home Health Online targeting needs tighter controls, UK data ethics body suggests – TechCrunch

Online targeting needs tighter controls, UK data ethics body suggests – TechCrunch

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A UK government advisory body on AI and data ethics has recommended tighter controls on how platform giants can use ad targeting and content personalization. Concerns about the largely unregulated eyeball-grabbing targeting tactics of online platforms — be it via serving ‘personalized content’ or ‘microtargeted ads’ to individuals or groups of users — include the risk of generating addictive behaviors; the exploitation and/or discrimination of vulnerable groups; the amplification of misinformation; and election interference, to name a few. In a report published today the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) sets out a number of recommendations for platforms that use targeting tools to determine what content or ads are shown to users which it argues will help build public trust in digital services, including those delivered by the public sector. […] The advisory body, which was announced by the Conservative-led government in 2017 to help devise policy for regulating the use of AI and data-driven technologies, is calling for online targeting giants to be held to higher standards of accountability over their use of targeting tools. […] It also recommends that a code of practice be applied to platforms and services that use online targeting systems requiring that they adopt “standards of risk management, transparency and protection of people who may be vulnerable, so that they can be held to account for the impact of online targeting systems on users”. […] Another recommendation is that platforms be required to maintain online advertising archives “to provide transparency for types of personalised advertising that pose particular societal risks” — such as for politics ads; employment and other similar opportunities where there may be a risk of unlawful discrimination; and for age-restricted products.


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