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Meta Settles With Justice On Discriminatory Housing Ads

Technology behemoth Meta entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice following allegations of discriminatory housing advertisements on the social media platform formerly known as Facebook.

Federal prosecutors filed a complaint against Meta accusing them of using targeted home advertisements using demographic data protected by the Fair Housing Act in the company’s machine learning algorithms, thereby violating housing law.

The complaint specifically accuses Meta of pairing users with certain housing ads based on their “Lookalike Audience” tool, which uses FHA-protected characteristics in its algorithm. These algorithms then determined which users would receive housing advertisements and deem which online users were included in its “Eligible Audience.”

This is the first case filed by the Justice Department alleging algorithmic bias under the FHA. 

“As technology rapidly evolves, companies like Meta have a responsibility to ensure their algorithmic tools are not used in a discriminatory manner,” Assistant Attorney ...

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