Yesterday Google was once again on the receiving end of bad publicity. An article in the Telegraph, one of the UK’s biggest newspapers, appears to show that Google uses racial profiling in its advertising algorithms.
A year ago a Huffington Post article appeared to show racial profiling at work in the ads Google shows alongside emails in Gmail. The Telegraph replicated this experiment recently in the UK, and it reports similar findings:
“The results were stark, and similar to the original experiment – for example, an email sent by “Robert Howe” saying “Need Cash” gets foreign exchange solutions for business advertised to him; the same email sent by “Segun Akinkube” gets offered Payday Loans. Neither of the ads repeated in each other’s preferences; Segun & Robert got completely different ads served to them, when all other factors were the same.”