13 votes

China’s next regulatory target — algorithms, the secret of many tech giants’ success

6 comments

  1. [6]
    skybrian
    Link
    From the article: [...]

    From the article:

    [...] China has finalized regulation that governs the way technology companies can use recommendation algorithms, targeting the secret behind the success of many of the country’s giants.

    The rules, which were first floated last year, will come into force on March 1, as Beijing continues its push to tighten regulation on China’s tech sector.

    [...]

    Here are some of the provisions in China’s algorithm regulation:

    • Companies must not use algorithm recommendations to do anything that violates Chinese laws, such as endangering national security.
    • Algorithmic recommendation services that provide news information need to obtain a license and cannot push out fake news. This provision was a new addition to last year’s draft rules.
    • Companies need to inform users about the “basic principles, purpose and main operation mechanism” of the algorithm recommendation service.
    • Users must be able to opt out of having recommendation services via algorithms.
    • Users must be able to select or delete tags that are used to power recommendation algorithms and suggest things to them.
    • Companies must facilitate the “safe use” of algorithmic recommendation services for the elderly, protecting them against things like fraud and scams. This was also a new addition to the previous draft.
    7 votes
    1. drannex
      Link Parent
      That is by far the most important item on the agenda, hoping this has far reaching effects across the globe.

      Users must be able to opt out of having recommendation services via algorithms.

      That is by far the most important item on the agenda, hoping this has far reaching effects across the globe.

      10 votes
    2. mundane_and_naive
      Link Parent
      This one actually seems useful beyond privacy concerns, being able to customize what you want to be recommended. It's always all-or-nothing when it comes to this topic. I'd love to be be suggested...

      Users must be able to select or delete tags that are used to power recommendation algorithms and suggest things to them.

      This one actually seems useful beyond privacy concerns, being able to customize what you want to be recommended. It's always all-or-nothing when it comes to this topic. I'd love to be be suggested new contents based on my interest without having to worry about my frontpage being flooded with memes just because I went on a binge once, you know.

      6 votes
    3. [2]
      nothis
      Link Parent
      If it wasn't China who was enforcing this, I'd be all for it for western companies as well.

      If it wasn't China who was enforcing this, I'd be all for it for western companies as well.

      2 votes
      1. TheRtRevKaiser
        Link Parent
        Yeah it feels a little weird agreeing with a good bit of this. Obviously there's a very real concern that the Chinese gov't will use some of these regulations to suppress dissidents but I think...

        Yeah it feels a little weird agreeing with a good bit of this. Obviously there's a very real concern that the Chinese gov't will use some of these regulations to suppress dissidents but I think some of the steps are actually good consumer protections that we could really use in the west.

        3 votes
    4. vord
      Link Parent
      If the rest of the world would implement similar rules, we'd all be a lot better off. The most problematic of those rules are ones I would expect almost any other country to attempt to put in as...

      If the rest of the world would implement similar rules, we'd all be a lot better off.

      The most problematic of those rules are ones I would expect almost any other country to attempt to put in as well. The UK and USA have all sorts of rules surrounding illegal content on the net.

      Given the latest obsession over fake news, I suspect we're not far off from other countries trying to institute some sort of journalism license, which is by far the most chilling of these rules.

      1 vote