“This agreement is historic”: How the EU wants to put down the Internet giants

The text, which has been debated for nearly a year and a half, should make very large digital platforms, such as Facebook (Meta) or Amazon, accountable, by forcing them to remove illegal content and cooperate with authorities.

This agreement is historic.Welcoming Commission Chairperson Ursula von der Leyen on Twitter, “Our new rules will protect users online, ensuring freedom of expression and business opportunities”.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) is one of two parts of a master plan introduced in December 2020 by the Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, and its in-market counterpart, Thierry Breton.

The first part, the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which addresses anti-competitive practices, was concluded at the end of March.

DSA, for its part, is updating the e-commerce directive, which was born 20 years ago when giant platforms were still emerging. The goal: to put an end to the areas of lawlessness and abuse on the Internet.

The excesses of social networks often made headlines. The assassination of history professor Samuel Baty in France, after a hate campaign in October 2020, and the assault of protesters at the United States Capitol in January 2021, planned in part thanks to Facebook and Twitter …

The dark side of the Internet is also about selling platforms that are overrun with fake or defective products, which can be dangerous, such as children’s toys that do not meet safety standards.

The new rule states that withdrawal is required “Immediately” Any content that is illegal (according to national and European laws) once the platform becomes aware of it. Force social networks to suspend violating users “Often” Law.

DSA will require online selling sites to verify the identity of their suppliers before offering their products.

It blocks misleading interfaces (“dark mode”) that push Internet users towards certain account settings or paid services.

“Before it’s too late”

At the heart of the project, imposed new obligations ‘Extra big platforms’these are counting “More than 45 million active users” In the European Union, there are about two dozen companies, the list of which has not yet been determined but will include Gafam (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft), as well as Twitter, and possibly TikTok or Booking.

These players must themselves assess the risks associated with the use of their services and establish appropriate means to remove problematic content. Increased transparency will be imposed on their data and recommendation algorithms.

The Google logo in Berlin, Germany in January 2019 Agence France-Presse/Archives/Tobias Schwarz.

It will be audited once a year by independent bodies and placed under the supervision of the European Commission, which may impose fines of up to 6% of its annual turnover in case of repeated violations.

In particular, the DSA prohibits the use of data relating to political opinions for the purpose of advertising targeting.

this text “It is the first in the world in terms of digital regulation”The Council of the European Union, which represents the 27 member states, confirmed in a press release. he is “It enshrines the principle that what is illegal offline must also be illegal online”.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the European Union on Thursday evening to adopt this new legislation Supporting global democracy before it’s too late. “For too long, technology platforms amplify disinformation and extremism without accountability.”indicated.

US whistleblower Frances Hogan, who denounced Facebook’s passivity in the face of harassment on its social networks, welcomed in November ‘Huge potential’ From the DSA that can become “Reference” For other countries, including the United States.

Lawmakers added that against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine and the disinformation campaigns it encourages Crisis Response MechanismEuropean Council said. When it is activated by a decision of the committee, measures will be taken “proportional and effective” Against very large platforms that would help spread fake news.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.