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Thursday, 28 December 2017 12:59

Growing concern about online algorithms

Hay preocupación en la Comisión Europea por el uso de algunos programas digitales. Particularmente, están en la mira aquellas aplicaciones que gestionan tarifas online. Al parecer, están incurriendo en prácticas poco éticas, de cara al mercado.

Es probable que algunas compañías se estén aprovechando de los vacíos en la legislación. Las normas actuales regulan las prácticas y los acuerdos realizados entre seres humanos. Con la aparición de la inteligencia artificial, las leyes tradicionales se muestran insuficientes.

Es precisamente esa grieta legal la que ha animado al uso de algoritmos de una forma cuestionable. Hay razones para pensar que pueden estar infringiendo la lealtad en las prácticas competitivas. Esto fue lo que llevó a la Comisión Europea a dar una voz de alerta.


What the European Commission detected is that there are means to have information on prices, in real time. This seems to have triggered a problematic activity. It is that the algorithms themselves coordinate the coincidence of said prices. It is a "cartel" type practice.

In other words, electronic media unify the prices offered by different companies. In many cases, they are homogenized according to the highest price. This practice, of course, makes free competition disappear. The consumer, then, is subject to the concerted decision of the companies. Your chances of making a real purchase choice are diminished.

The problem is that all this is done independently of the individuals. It is the bots that perform these operations. Therefore, the responsibility of those who put them into operation is not clear. However, from a legal point of view, this is not penalized.


Other algorithms that cause some concern are focused directly on sales. The company Neuronalbite of Spain has developed a system that operates in that sense. Eventually it involves consumer manipulation.

In this case, the algorithm analyzes the behavior of users in electronic stores. The system is able to track the user's navigation. Identify your purchase patterns Cross that information with the behavior of previous users. From this, he makes predictions.

The ultimate goal is to induce the user to make certain purchases. It is based on the idea that many of these are done on impulse. Based on this and on the analyzed behavior, you are led to find certain products. Obviously they are those that are more likely to be acquired by that specific user.


he algorithm of Google imposes a series of parameters to all those who have a page on the web. These are criteria that must be met to appear on the first sites during a search. It is said that this algorithm changes about 500 times a year. That's why you only get to know partially.

Apparently, Google rewards the best quality websites. Those that comply with the parameters defined in their algorithm appear on the first search page. However, those quality criteria are imposed by Google. In principle, the pages awarded by Google are those that conform to their guidelines. Not necessarily those with the best content.

In spite of everything, nowadays nobody can ignore the Google algorithm. At least if you want to survive in the network. In any case, this system does help punish the worst pages. It basically penalizes duplicate contents. Also the excess of publicity. This improves overall the quality of what is published.

Writings SF Lawyers