Big tech could be forced to reveal their algorithms

  • A landmark case in Japan may force tech giant to reveal the inner workings of their algorithms.

A Tokyo court ruled in favour of Hanryumura, the operator of a BBQ restaurant chain, in an antitrust case brought against, the operator of Tabelog, Japan’s largest restaurant review platform, last month.

Hanryumura claimed that Kakaku changed the way user scores were calculated, which harmed sales at its restaurants. The restaurant owner was awarded $284,000 in damages, but that’s not the most interesting aspect of the case.

In an unprecedented move, the court requested that Kakaka reveal a portion of its algorithms. There has never been a case in which a digital platform has been forced to disclose its algorithm anywhere in the world.

While Hanryumura is prohibited from disclosing the information it was shown about Kakaka’s algorithms, tech companies have long argued that their algorithms should be treated as trade secrets and never revealed.

Similar cases are likely to follow now that a precedent has been established.

The case also supports calls for regulators to compel companies, particularly large tech firms, to be more transparent about how their algorithms work, particularly when they make critical decisions affecting people’s lives.

Related posts

Leave a Comment