The US government and Facebook parent company Meta have agreed on a settlement to clear up a lawsuit that accused the company of facilitating housing discrimination by letting advertisers specify that ads not be shown to people belonging to specific protected groups, according to a press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ). You can read the full agreement below.
The government first brought a case against Meta for algorithmic housing discrimination in 2019, though accusations about the company’s practices go back years before that. The company took some steps to address the issue, but clearly, they weren’t enough for the feds. The department says this was its first case dealing with algorithmic violations of the Fair Housing Act.
The settlement, which will have to be approved by a judge before it’s truly final, says that Meta will have to stop using a discriminatory algorithm for housing ads and instead develop a system that will “address racial and other disparities caused by its use of personalization algorithms in its ad delivery system.”