The Right to Explanation, Explained
30 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2018 Last revised: 8 Aug 2019
Date Written: June 15, 2018
Many have called for algorithmic accountability: laws governing decision-making by complex algorithms, or AI. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) now establishes exactly this. The recent debate over the right to explanation (a right to information about individual decisions made by algorithms) has obscured the significant algorithmic accountability regime established by the GDPR. The GDPR’s provisions on algorithmic accountability, which include a right to explanation, have the potential to be broader, stronger, and deeper than the preceding requirements of the Data Protection Directive. This Essay clarifies, largely for a U.S. audience, what the GDPR actually requires, incorporating recently released authoritative guidelines.
Keywords: Algorithmic Decision-Making, Algorithmic Accountability, GDPR, Privacy, Machine Learning, AI
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