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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Values in the Filter Bubble Ethics of Personalization Algorithms in Cloud Computing

Engin Bozdag and Job Timmermans
Delft University of Technology
Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management


Cloud services such as Facebook and Google search started to use personalization algorithms in order to deal with growing amount of data online. This is often done in order to reduce the “information overload”. User’s interaction with the system is recorded in a single identity, and the information is personalized for the user using this identity. However, as we argue, such filters often ignore the context of information and they are never value neutral. These algorithms operate without the control and knowledge of the user, leading to a “filter bubble”. In this paper we use Value Sensitive Design methodology to identify the values and value assumptions implicated in personalization algorithms. By building on existing philosophical work, we discuss three human values implicated in personalized filtering: autonomy, identity, and transparency.

A copy of the paper is here.