DC Chamber of Commerce Provides Testimony to the DC Council Committee on Government Operation for “Stop Discrimination By Algorithms Act Of 2021”

On September 22, 2022, the DC Council Committee on Government Operations, Chaired by Robert White, held a hearing on the “Stop Discrimination by Algorithms Act of 2021” (SDAA). Introduced by the Attorney General, the SDAA seeks to eliminate discriminatory practices by those businesses and institutions that use algorithms to make decisions by placing burdensome notice, auditing, and data-retention requirements on District businesses that meet certain thresholds. While ALL agree about the goals of the legislation, dozens of witnesses from a cross-section of businesses and institutions – spanning both private and public sectors, both commercial and charitable sectors, both large and small, both local and country-wide – testified in opposition to the bill. In one unanimous voice, the majority of these businesses and institutions cautioned the Committee that the proposed legislation’s impact could be devastating to businesses and multiple industries, and more study and research is necessary to consider those unintended consequences.

As Angela Franco, President and CEO of the DC Chamber of Commerce, succinctly stated, “…as we all know, the last few years have been some of our most difficult in recent memory, especially, for many of our small business owners and workers. And that is why I am particularly concerned about the impact this bill could have on those small businesses, low-margin enterprises that – often unknowingly through vendors – access beneficial information in ways that this legislation could add significant costs to their operation. From the family-owned neighborhood dry-cleaner to the start-up restaurant, this bill could impact their work – and their lives – in a way that at this point we are not able to identify.”

To read the complete testimony from Angela Franco to the DC Council Committee on Government Operations, please click here.

About the DC Chamber of Commerce

The DC Chamber of Commerce is the largest Chamber in the Washington DC region. As an advocate for the DC business community for 83 years, the DC Chamber of Commerce is the voice for businesses in the District of Columbia, proudly serving a diverse membership of more than 1,100 members. For more information, visit https://www.dcchamber.org.

 

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