China has *recommendations* for recommendation algorithms (hint: they will be tightly controlled)

The Party does not want algorithms running amok and influencing public opinion. The CAC will keep records of algos that have “public opinion attributes or social mobilization capabilities,” and algos which have such attributes must register.

Most interesting to me: Users must be provided with a convenient way to see and delete the keywords that the algorithm is using to profile them. 2/
And there are limits on the types of keywords algos can collect: “Providers … shall not record illegal and undesirable keywords in the user points of interest or as user tags and push information content accordingly, and may not set discriminatory or biased user labels.” 3/
Users must be informed that algorithms are being used to recommend content or products to them, and must be allowed to opt out, and see non-personalized results. 4/
There is a clear concern that algorithms will be used to the detriment of socialist core values. “The algorithm recommendation service provider shall adhere to mainstream values … actively spread positive energy, and promote the application of algorithms for the better.” 5/
Also a clear concern they may be used to manipulate consumers: “Providers shall regularly review, evaluate, and verify algorithm mechanisms, models, data, and application results, etc., and may not set up models … such as inducing users to indulge or consume high amounts.” 6/
Alogs can’t be used to “falsely register accounts … or falsely likes, comment, forwards… manipulate search rankings, control hot topics, … implement self-preferential treatment, unfair competition, influence online public opinion, or evade supervision.” 7/
Protecting kids: Algorithms cannot push info to minors that induce them to imitate unsafe behaviors or bad habits, or profile them in order to encourage internet addiction. 8/
No brutal work conditions for ride-hailing drivers, delivery drivers: “Algos that provide scheduling services to workers shall improve … platform order distribution, remuneration, working hours, rewards and punishments, [to] protect workers’ rights and interests.” 9/
No using algorithms for differential treatment: “providers shall not use algorithms to implement unreasonable trading conditions such as differential treatment and transaction prices based on consumer preferences and transaction habits and other illegal acts.” 10/
The Party does not want algorithms running amok and influencing public opinion. The CAC will keep records of algos that have “public opinion attributes or social mobilization capabilities,” and algos which have such attributes must register. 11/
CAC will also conduct security and safety inspections of recommendation algorithm providers. Algo providers must also set up channels to receive, and respond to, complaints from the public. 12/
Buuuttttt… fines for violations are pretty low. First penalty is a warning. If the violation is serious, max fine is RMB 30,000 (around USD 5,000). This is likely because they need to be payable by small app developers, not just big tech. 13/
That said, if a criminal act has taken place (say, a violation of the upcoming Personal Information Protection Law), then fines could be huge. 14/
As far as I’m concerned, this policy marks the moment that China’s tech regulation is not simply keeping pace with data regulations in the EU, but has gone beyond them. 15/
Total
0
Shares

Sign Up for NextBigWhat Newsletter

Daily.