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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: October 21, 2019 12:47 PM
From: Representative Malcolm Kenyatta
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting Consumers from Discrimination in Corporate Algorithms
Computers are increasing involved in the most important decisions affecting Pennsylvanians’ lives. These decisions include getting a job, buying a home or a car, or other economic transaction. Computers make these decisions based on algorithms which often depend on biased assumptions or data. Unfortunately, this can lead to decisions which reinforce discrimination against women and minorities.

In order to help solve this problem, my legislation will require companies using these algorithms to conduct assessments analyzing if their systems are allowing for these unfair and inaccurate decisions to be made. If bias or discrimination is found to be occurring due to the algorithms, companies will be required to provide corrective measures.

The Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Office of Attorney General will review these assessments. They will then be able to file civil actions against companies who do not comply with the law and have not worked to correct the bias found in their systems.

I ask that you support this legislation and join me in helping protect Pennsylvanians from unfair bias and discrimination because of flawed algorithms used by businesses to make decisions.