Washington (February 17, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), a member of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today issued the following statement applauding President Biden’s Executive Order to Strengthen Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Across the Federal Government for its focus on addressing algorithmic discrimination in automated technology and improving accessibility for people with disabilities:

“If we are going to address discrimination today, we have to open the hood on Big Tech. I applaud President Biden for his emphasis on the ways that discrimination is perpetuated online, from black-box algorithms that replicate the inequities and injustices in our society and reproduce them in our virtual world, to inaccessible technologies that box-out people with disabilities from engaging equally in online communications products and services. We cannot allow Big Tech to operate computer code without a code of conduct. I urge my fellow members of Congress to join me in building on the momentum of the President’s Executive Order by passing two pieces of legislation, my Algorithmic Justice and Online Platform Transparency Act and my Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act, so that we can take on these 21st century threats to Americans’ civil rights.”

Senator Markey is the author of the Algorithmic Justice and Online Platform Transparency Act—legislation to prohibit harmful algorithms, increase transparency into websites’ content amplification and moderation practices, and commission a cross-government investigation into discriminatory algorithmic processes throughout the economy—as well as the Communications, Video, and Technology Accessibility Act—legislation that updates and amends his landmark 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act to ensure that people with disabilities have full access to the range of mainstream communication products and services that are necessary to participate equally in professional, educational, recreational, and civic contexts, while laying a foundation for accessibility in future technologies.