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Eticas outlines approach to ‘adversarial’ algorithmic auditing
This article is part of the CW EMEA issue of July 2023
As governments look to regulate the online world, the scrutiny of the algorithms that sit behind popular websites and apps is only going to increase. With doubts over whether self-regulation can ever really work, and with many systems remaining opaque or hard to analyse, some experts are calling for a new approach – and one firm, Barcelona-based Eticas, is instead pioneering a method of adversarial audits. The European Union’s (EU) Digital Services Act (DSA), due in 2024, will require any company providing digital services to conduct independent audits and risk assessments to ensure the safety and fundamental rights of users are respected in their environments. In anticipation of this, Eticas has conducted several external, adversarial audits of tech companies’ algorithms. The audits conducted by Eticas thus far include examinations of how the algorithms of YouTube and TikTok influence the portrayal of migrants, and how the artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms used by ride-hailing apps in Spain (namely Uber, Cabify and Bolt) ...
Features in this issue
The proposed amendments to the EU’s AI Act have garnered a mixed reception from both industry and civil society, with the former seeing it as too stringent and the latter as not stringent enough in many areas, despite positive progress in others
Lawyers speaking at the Madrid Bar Association question the legality of a cryptophone hacking which has led to arrests of organised criminals in multiple countries
Algorithmic auditing firm Eticas speaks to Computer Weekly about its approach to ‘adversarial’ algorithmic auditing, including its strengths and limitations, and how the process works