fairn.png
Thursday July 7th, 2022 6:26AM

Facebook and US make deal to stop discriminatory housing ads

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook will change its algorithms to prevent discriminatory housing advertising and its parent company will subject itself to court oversight to settle a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday.

In a release, U.S. government officials said Meta Platforms Inc., formerly known as Facebook Inc., said Tuesday it reached an agreement to settle the lawsuit filed the same day in Manhattan federal court.

According to the release, it was the Justice Department’s first case challenging algorithmic discrimination under the Fair Housing Act. Facebook will now be subject to Justice Department approval and court oversight for its ad targeting and delivery system.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams called the lawsuit “groundbreaking.” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke called it “historic.”

Ashley Settle, a Facebook spokesperson, said in an email that the company was “building a novel machine learning method without our ads system that will change the way housing ads are delivered to people residing in the U.S. across different demographic groups.”

She said the company would extend its new method for ads related to employment and credit in the U.S.

“We are excited to pioneer this effort,” Settle added in an email.

Williams said Facebook's technology has in the past violated the Fair Housing Act online “just as when companies engage in discriminatory advertising using more traditional advertising methods.”

Clarke said “companies like Meta have a responsibility to ensure their algorithmic tools are not used in a discriminatory manner.”

According to terms of the settlement, Facebook will stop using an advertising tool for housing ads that the government said employed a discriminatory algorithm to locate users who “look like” other users based on characteristics protected by the Fair Housing Act, the Justice Department said. By Dec. 31, Facebook must stop using the tool once called “Lookalike Audience,” which relies on an algorithm that the U.S. said discriminates on the basis of race, sex and other characteristics.

Facebook also will develop a new system over the next half-year to address racial and other disparities caused by its use of personalization algorithms in its delivery system for housing ads, it said.

If the new system is inadequate, the settlement agreement can be terminated, the Justice Department said. Per the settlement, Meta also has pay a penalty of just over $115,000.

The announcement comes after Facebook already agreed in March 2019 to overhaul its ad-targeting systems to prevent discrimination in housing, credit and employment ads as part of a legal settlement with a group including the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Fair Housing Alliance and others.

The changes announced then were designed so that advertisers who wanted to run housing, employment or credit ads would no longer be allowed to target people by age, gender or zip code.

The Justice Department said Tuesday that the 2019 settlement reduced the potentially discriminatory targeting options available to advertisers but failed to resolve other problems, including Facebook's discriminatory delivery of housing ads through machine-learning algorithms.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News, AP Technology News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Leftist's election to test Colombia's alliance with US
It’s one of the United States’ few enduring alliances in an often-turbulent Latin America, one built around a decades-long partnership combating the nation’s drug cartels
3:48PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Deshaun Watson settles 20 civil suits, faces NFL suspension
A person familiar with the NFL's investigation tells The Associated Press that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson's decision to settle 20 of 24 civil lawsuits filed against him for sexual misconduct may not dissuade the NFL from giving him a lengthy suspension
3:46PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Lapid, set to be Israel's next premier, faces critical test
In a 10-year political career, Yair Lapid has transformed himself from upstart political novice to feisty opposition leader to the savvy operator who toppled longtime leader Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
3:45PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Chicago police unveil long-awaited foot pursuit policy
A new foot pursuit policy prohibits Chicago police officers from chasing people simply because they run away or if they are suspected of committing minor offenses
3:21PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Texas top cop: Uvalde police could've ended rampage early on
The head of the Texas Department of Public Safety says three minutes after a gunman entered a school where he slaughtered 19 elementary students and two teachers there was sufficient armed law enforcement on scene to stop the gunman
3:06PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Biden celebrates COVID shots for kids under 5
President Joe Biden is celebrating that virtually all Americans can now get a COVID-19 shot Tuesday after the authorization of vaccines for kids under 5 over the weekend
3:05PM ( 49 minutes ago )
AP National News
Stars hire 2-time Cup Final coach DeBoer to replace Bowness
The Dallas Stars have hired Peter DeBoer as their new coach
3:20PM ( 33 minutes ago )
Macron holds postelection talks with French party leaders
French President Emmanuel Macron has held talks with France’s main party leaders after his centrist alliance failed to win an absolute majority in parliamentary elections
2:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
Google exec to UN: Ukraine 'a crystal ball' for info warfare
A Google executive is warning the U.N. Security Council Tuesday that cyberattacks, disinformation and other forms of information warfare being waged in Ukraine are a “crystal ball” for future problems elsewhere
2:23PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
US charitable giving hit record in 2021 but inflation looms
Charitable giving in the United States reached a record $485 billion in 2021, though the increase did not keep pace with inflation
12:15PM ( 3 hours ago )
Kellogg to split into 3; snacks, cereals, plant-based food
Kellogg Co., the maker of Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies and Eggo, will split into three companies focused on cereals, snacks and plant-based foods
10:00AM ( 5 hours ago )
Trial of former Theranos exec Sunny Balwani nears end
A jury on Tuesday is scheduled to hear closing arguments in the trial of Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, the former Theranos official charged with teaming up with his secret lover, CEO Elizabeth Holmes, to carry out a massive fraud
7:40AM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Deshaun Watson settles 20 civil suits, faces NFL suspension
A person familiar with the NFL's investigation tells The Associated Press that Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson's decision to settle 20 of 24 civil lawsuits filed against him for sexual misconduct may not dissuade the NFL from giving him a lengthy suspension
3:46PM ( 8 minutes ago )
Biden visits clinic, celebrates COVID shots for kids under 5
President Joe Biden is celebrating that virtually all Americans can now get a COVID-19 shot after the authorization of vaccines for kids under 5 over the weekend
3:43PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Jan. 6 takeaways: Trump's 'playbook' to overturn election
A House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection is turning to former President Donald Trump’s pressure campaign on state and local officials to overturn his 2020 election loss
3:39PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Supreme Court limits reach of federal gun crime law
The Supreme Court is limiting the reach of a federal statute that requires stiff penalties for crimes involving a gun
3:37PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Stocks gain ground, clawing back a piece of last week's drop
Stocks rose broadly on Wall Street Tuesday, clawing back some of the ground they lost in their worst weekly drop since the beginning of the pandemic
3:35PM ( 18 minutes ago )