Tech companies must remove illegal content and curb disinformation or face fines of up to 6% of their global revenue
The new regulation establishes that the platforms must limit the extraction of user data and be more transparent with their algorithms
The European Union (EU) advances in its efforts to regulate the digital platforms. The Europarliament and the European Council reached an agreement during the early hours of this Saturday to illuminate the Digital Services Law (DSA, for its acronym in English), a pioneering measure that will force technology giants with more than 45 million users, such as GoogleGoal (Facebook), Manzana either amazon, to remove illegal content and curb misinformation or face multi-million dollar fines.
The new regulation establishes that, if they do not comply with it, these large companies that control the internet could be sanctioned with fines of up to 6% of their global turnover. Repeatedly breaking the law Brussels It even contemplates the prohibition of these companies doing business in European territory. Those large companies will face annual audits to determine and assess the “systemic risks” of their businesses.
The text, agreed upon after 16 hours of negotiations, establishes that the EU governments may request these social media removal of illegal content, such as content that promotes terrorism, hate speech, scams, or child abuse. Users should also have the ability to report such content “easily and effectively.” What is or is not illegal will fall to the laws of each Member State.
In addition, the platforms will have to introduce new strategies to combat the proliferation of disinformation in their spaces during times of crisis. This measure has been reinforced after the military invasion of Ukraine launched by Russia.
The DSA goes beyond cracking down on illegal content online and regulates the big platforms in other essential ways. Thus, companies are forced to be more transparent about their algorithms and their incidence. A practical application of this will be forcing them to reveal to users how these systems determine what content is amplified and what are the personalized recommendations that we see when we enter spaces such as Instagram, Youtube either Twitter. The law will also affect instant messaging services such as WhatsApp and online marketplaces like Amazon, which will have to ensure that illegal products are not sold on their platforms.
Ta da! 16 hours, lots of sweets (but cookies still declined 😉 We have a deal on the #DSA: The Digital Services Act will make sure that what is illegal offline is also seen & dealt with as illegal online – not as a slogan, as reality! And always protecting freedom of expression! pic.twitter.com/mUhU84Q9FS
— Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) April 23, 2022
The law will limit the extraction of data from citizens and the digital advertising directed at children or based on sensitive user data such as gender, race, religion or political beliefs. Likewise, it will also prohibit interfaces whose design is deliberately misleading or confusing with the aim of inducing users to make decisions such as accepting the tracking of their online activity through ‘cookies’.
The DSA is the first leg of the EU’s mammoth legislative plan to regulate technology companies in Silicon Valley. Last month, the European Parliament and the Twenty-seven reached an agreement to promote the Digital Markets Law (DMA), a project that aims to put an end to the monopolistic abuses of these companies and that will force them to transform the way they operate.
Both laws show that the EU is setting the standard for technology regulation worldwide. Other countries are already contacting the MEPs who have designed these measures to take note. The adoption of measures such as these is an important step, but
When does it come into force?
With this and other measures, the EU is pioneering the gigantic attempt to regulate the digital platforms that condition the lives of millions of people on a daily basis. Now, the agreement must be endorsed by the European Council, which is expected to be a procedure without substantial changes to the legal text. The entry into force of the new regulations will not be immediate and, after its ratification, it will be launched after 15 months. That means that all these measures will come into force in 2024.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism