Studying Algorithmic Bias Using Fake Online Accounts Does Not Violate the CFAA

    On March 27, 2020, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decided in the matter of Christian W. Sandvig, et al., v. William P. Barr that researchers who violated a website’s terms of service by creating fake accounts to study “algorithmic bias in artificial intelligence software” are not criminally liable for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

    The Court found that while agreeing to website terms of service is not sufficient to trigger criminal liability under the CFAA, it could expose individuals to civil liability under federal and state laws, such as “lawsuits by website owners against individual violators to enforce their terms of service.”

    Read more at the National Law Review

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