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Republicans confiscated research as evidence of Google’s prejudice. The author says it is misrepresented.

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Below: Democrats have called on Google to limit location data prior to the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, and researchers have discovered that some online learning apps are tracking children. beginning:

Republicans confiscated research as evidence of Google’s prejudice. The author says it is misrepresented.

Academic research that found Google’s algorithm for removing spam emails showed prejudice against conservative candidates infuriated Republican lawmakers.

In Hill’s editorial last week, Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont) said a peer-reviewed paper from a group of researchers at North Carolina State University undoubtedly exposed Big Tech’s most vicious scale tilting attempt. Stated. Towards the left-wing candidate. Republican senators burned Google executives about it at a recent private meeting, Politico reported.

However, the researchers behind the study say the findings were carefully selected and misrepresented in Washington, and no such evidence was found.

Our study does not make such a conclusion, and one of its lead authors, Muhammad Shazad, stated Dyness’s claim in the group’s first media interview on this topic.

Shahzad, an associate professor of computer science, shows that the paper is biased across services under certain circumstances, but nothing shows that someone is deliberately trying to run an election. Stated.

Researchers have set up over 100 email accounts in Google Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, and Yahoo Mail, and signed up for messages from over 200 candidates in 2020. We found that all services show political prejudice against emails sent to spam. Various directions.

Gmail marked 59.3% more email from the right candidate compared to the left candidate, while Outlook and Yahoo marked 59.3% more email from the right candidate, while Outlook and Yahoo compared the right candidate from the left candidate. Marked emails as spam 20.4% and 14.2% more, respectively.

The discovery provided the latest evidence used by Republicans to blame Silicon Valley giants for prejudice. But researchers said it was out of context.

According to Shahzad, spam filters have shown political prejudice against the default behavior for newly created accounts, but by marking some messages as spam and not others as spam, to users. The trend changed dramatically when we simulated letting people set their tastes.

What we saw was that Gmail’s bias almost disappeared after they were used, but not in Outlook and Yahoo, he said.

Google spokesman Ross Rikendorfer said the study had major flaws, including a very small sample size. [an] The data is two years old and does not take into account whether the candidate has optimized the domain to send a large amount of email. They added that there is no political prejudice in how Gmail handles spam.

In a statement, Microsoft Senior Director of Communications Jeff Jones said the company used anti-spam tools to prevent customers from receiving unwanted or inappropriate email and unintentionally filter the required communications. Said that there may be cases. A Yahoo spokeswoman did not return a request for comment.

Shahzad argued that the results showing how the filter responds when taking into account user behavior are more important given that the actual user account does not stay idle.

Gmail isn’t as biased as its portrayal, he said. I don’t support Gmail etc. When retrieving observations from a survey, try to get all the observations and use them, not just some.

Republicans have omitted or downplayed the prejudice against the Democratic Party of Outlook and Yahoo Mail.

In a letter condemning Google for the findings, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) Remarked the fact that Microsoft and Yahoo’s algorithms favored one party, but it was his own. He said he excluded. Hurley also argued that researchers expected and refuted Google’s remarks that the findings could be explained by user behavior.

Shahzad said neither method could clearly prove whether user behavior was the true driving force behind the bias, but speculated that it was a major factor.

He said the biggest challenge to getting to the root of this phenomenon is the difficulty for researchers to access the algorithms of technology companies.

For us, it’s a black box. Only inputs and outputs are displayed. I don’t know what happened inside. So he said it probably wouldn’t be possible to say exactly what was happening in the background.

The controversy over research is, in many respects, a microcosm of the broader dynamics that are causing the rift between Republicans and Silicon Valley.

Republicans have confiscated anecdotal evidence of prejudiced technology giants, and there are criticisms that companies often reject as technical misunderstandings. But lawmakers across the political spectrum say they ended up accepting the company in their words, and their ability to unravel the truth is instead how much data outsiders can get from Silicon Valley. It depends on what you can do.

According to Shahzad, even if you publish the algorithm, it will be very difficult to explain. But at least he added that intent concerns could be alleviated.

Democrats are asking Google to stop collecting data that can identify people who have had an abortion

Privacy experts and lawmakers are calling for restrictions on such data following the leak of a draft Supreme Court decision indicating that the court is considering overthrowing the Roe v. Wade case. Location data collected by Google could be used specifically by right-wing prosecutors to identify people who have had an abortion if the court overturns the precedent, with dozens of lawmakers being Google’s best. I warned in a letter to CEO Sundar Pichai. The letter was led by Senator Ron Wyden (Democratic Party) and Anna Eshu (Democratic Party), CNBC’s Lauren Finer reports.

It’s commendable that Google was one of the first companies in the United States to claim a warrant before disclosing location data to law enforcement agencies, but that’s not enough, 42 Democrats wrote. There is. If abortion is illegal by the far-right Supreme Court and Republican legislators, right-wing prosecutors will obtain a legal warrant to hunt down, prosecute, and imprison women for important reproductive care. Is inevitable.

Google did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

School apps and websites tracked millions of children in a pandemic

Researchers at Human Rights Watch surveyed 164 educational apps and found that nearly 90% of the tools were designed to send data to ad technology companies, Drew Harwell reports. Eventually, they found that the tool sent data to nearly 200 ad tech companies, but few told parents how they would use the data.

Like adults shopping in the world’s largest virtual mall, children are more likely to be monitored in a virtual classroom, writes senior researcher He Jeonghan. The creators of the site and school district defended their use by saying that researchers included not only internal pages without trackers, but also some homepages with trackers. However, researchers defended the study by saying that students may have to sign in to the home page.

The study is raising concerns about the privacy risks of educational technology, including the Federal Trade Commission. Last week, the Commission approved a policy statement encouraging stronger enforcement of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The law should ensure that children can carry out their studies without giving in to commercial surveillance practices, FTC Chair Lina Khan said.

Judges prevent Tesla from trying to move the sexual harassment case to arbitration

The decision by Stephen Kaus, a senior court judge in Alameda County, California, has put Jessica Baraza’s sexual harassment proceedings in public, Faiz Sidiki reports. She claimed Tesla’s nightmarish situation, and she claimed that sexual harassment was rampant in the company.

This is a public accountability victory, said David A. Rowe, a partner of Baraza’s leading Rudy Excelrod Ziyech & Rowe. This ruling prevents Tesla from hiding in a closed room for secret arbitration. Instead, Tesla will be examined in public court by Mr. Barazas’s fellow jury. Tesla did not respond to requests for comment.

After Barrazza filed a lawsuit, six other women sued the company for sexual harassment. Their proceedings are pending.

Some workers said the actions of Tesla CEO Elon Musk and sometimes crude tweets made the behavior worse. Insiders reported last week that SpaceX paid $ 250,000 to resolve allegations that Musk had sexually harassed jet flight attendants. Musk denied the report, stating that he had political motivations when he tried to buy Twitter.

Actor Seth Green’s planned show is at stake after one of his non-fungible tokens (NFTs) has been stolen and sold, reports Sara Emerson of BuzzFeed News. Currently, someone else owns the NFT and the commercial rights of the NFT that Green seems to have made the show star. WFLA Heather Monahan:

Our colleague Philip Bump:

I’m more interested in what happens if Seth Green’s apes (which are all laughs) are stolen after the show airs. Do scammers receive royalties?

— Philip Bump (@pbump) May 24, 2022

You see, I’m not saying this is an elaborate stunt to promote a TV show that no one has heard until this week. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t be surprised if it was https://t.co/9z6h0z70Oo

— Jon.porter (@JonPorty) May 24, 2022

YouTube CEO says there is still work to be done to curb false information (Bloomberg)

Clearview AI’s face recognition tool is now available at school (Reuters)

Democrats aren’t mask fans, but they certainly like his car (Bloomberg)

According to a survey, one in five Amazon delivery drivers was injured in 2021 (CNBC)

Lyft suspends hiring and cuts budget due to economic slowdown (Wall Street Journal)

Netflix Releases New Game Title (Reuters)

Charlie Meisch has joined the National Telecommunications Information Management Bureau as Director of Public Relations. He was previously Senior Vice President of Crosscut Strategies and Senior Advisor at FCC. Alan Estevez, Deputy Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security, will speak at an event held today at 10 amA House by the Atlantic Council and the Krach Institute for TechDiplomacy. The Oversight and Reform Commission panel will hold a hearing on the Technology Modernization Fund today at 10 am. FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington will discuss net neutrality at an event at the R Street Institute on Thursday at 3:00 pm.

That’s it for today. Thank you for your participation. Tell others to subscribe to The Technology 202 here. Get tips, feedback, or greetings on Twitter or email.

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/05/25/republicans-seized-study-proof-googles-bias-its-authors-say-it-being-misrepresented/

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