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Watchdog group says Google gave California voters biased search results
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The advocacy group Consumer Watchdog is calling for California's Senate Elections Committee to investigate why Google algorithms gave voters looking for answers from the state's official election guide a biased take on ballot measures, including Proposition 24.
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In searches of the Golden State's 12 ballot proposals, officials found that seven measures had been described using campaign arguments from the guide, published through the Secretary of State's Office, instead of objective summaries.
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For instance, a search on "Prop 24" — a data privacy initiative — told voters that supporting it would reduce privacy rights and allow "'pay for privacy' schemes."
"Was Google trying to quietly tip the scale against Prop 24's online privacy regulations by manipulating its search results to make it appear that the Secretary of State's official position was opposed to the ballot measure?" Consumer Watchdog leaders Jamie Court and Carmen Balber asked in a letter to state Senate Elections Committee Chair Tom Umberg.
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