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Algorithms are taking control of our information rich world. As the twin sibling to Big Data, increasingly they decide how society views us via constructed profiles (as criminals? as terrorists? as ...
Algorithms are taking control of our information rich world. As the twin sibling to Big Data, increasingly they decide how society views us via constructed profiles (as criminals? as terrorists? as rich or poor consumers?); what we see as important, newsworthy, cool or profitable (eg Twitter trending topics, automated stock selling, Amazon recommendations, BBC website top news topics etc); and indeed what we see at all as algorithms are increasingly used to filter our illegal or undesirable content as tools of public policy. Algorithms are peceived by virtue of their automation as neutral, objective and fair, unlike human decision makers - yet evidence increasingly shows the opposite - eg a series of legal complaints assert that Google games its own search results to promote its own economic interests and demote those of competitors or annoyances; while in the defamation field, French, German and Italian courts have decided that algorithmically generated autosuggests in search can be libellous (eg "Bettina Wolf prostitute"). . This paper asks if any legal remedies do or should exist to *audit* proprietary algorithms , given their importance, and asks if one way forward might be via existing and future subject access rights to personal data in EU data protection law. The transformation of these rights as proposed in the draft Data Protection Regulation is not however hopeful.