Call your Councilmember to pass the Stop Discrimination by Algorithms Act

If a District of Columbia resident applies for a mortgage, they might be denied for the loan. But if they are Black, their chances of being denied or given a higher rate increase. Similarly, people who live in predominantly Black neighborhoods might be given higher car insurance rates. These decisions are often made by algorithms—computer systems that solve problems or complete tasks.

Algorithms often replicate discriminatory decisions and preferences that humans make offline. They can exclude women from seeing certain employment ads or deprioritize Black patients for care. Algorithmic accountability is the only proven method to prevent algorithmic bias, and that requires evaluating algorithms, deleting discriminatory datasets, and suspending the use of discriminatory algorithms.

The District of Columbia has an opportunity to support a bill for algorithmic accountability. The Stop Discrimination By Algorithms Act will protect DC residents from algorithmic discrimination in important life decisions, or decisions about housing, education, employment, or credit. By passing this bill, DC could be the first city to outlaw the use of discriminatory algorithms to decide eligibility for important life opportunities.

Call your council member and urge them to pass B24-0558, the Stop Discrimination by Algorithms Act. 

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