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Bills of the week: AI and surveillance

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Sep 21, 2023
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Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Here's a handy roundup of the tech bills introduced this week.

1. The Algorithmic Accountability Act of 2023, first introduced last year, by Sens. Ron Wyden and Cory Booker and Rep. Yvette Clarke, would make new protections for people impacted by AI used in systems like housing, credit and education.

  • The bill will "require ongoing testing to make sure artificial intelligence that is responsible for critical decisions actually works, and doesn't amplify bias based on where a person lives, where they go to church or the color of their skin," Wyden said in a statement.
  • Companies would be required to do impact assessments on their uses of AI for decision-making, with the FTC putting them in a public repository.

2. The Banning Surveillance Advertising Act, from Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jan Schakowsky and Sens. Wyden and Booker, would ban ad networks from using personal data for ad targeting and ban ads based on race, gender and religion. (Ad targeting based on "broad" location and contextual advertising is OK under the bill, per the statement).

  • "The 'surveillance advertising' business model is premised on the unseemly collection and hoarding of personal data to enable ad targeting... the surveillance advertising business model is broken," Eshoo said in a statement.
  • Violations would be enforced by the FTC.

3. The 5G Spectrum Authority Licensing Enforcement (SALE) Act, by Sen. John Kennedy, would require the FCC to release spectrum that had been previously auctioned to expand 5G broadband to more rural communities via temporary auction authority.

4. The DEEPFAKES Accountability Act of 2023, by Reps. Clarke and Glenn Ivey, would require creators of deepfake content to include a digital watermark, and make it a crime to fail to identify "malicious" deepfakes including sexual, criminal or violent conduct, per a statement.

  • "It's imperative that Congress not only establishes a clear standard for identifying deepfakes but also provides prosecutors, regulators, and especially victims with the necessary tools to combat fake or manipulated content," Clarke said in the statement.

Of note: We're hearing Sen. John Thune's AI certification bill — which we scooped was in the works back in July — may be introduced next week with some new co-sponsors.

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