Digital Services: Rules for an open and secure online space News

On Tuesday, Parliament passed a final vote on the new Digital Services Act (DSA) as well as the Digital Markets Act (DMA), following an agreement reached between Parliament and the Council on April 23 and March 24, respectively. Both texts aim to address the social and economic impacts of technology companies by setting clear standards for how they operate and deliver services within the European Union in line with European fundamental rights and values.

There were 539 votes in favor of the DSA, 54 and 30 abstentions against and 588 votes in favor of the DMA, 11 against and 31 abstentions.

Invalid offline What should be invalid online

The DSA sets out explicit obligations for digital service providers, including social media or marketplaces, to combat illegal content promotion, online confusion and other social risks. These requirements are proportional to the size of the platform and the risks they pose to society.

New obligations include:

  • New measures to prevent illegal content online As well as an obligation to respond quickly to platforms While respecting fundamental rights, including freedom of expression and protection of information;
  • Increased traceability and control of merchants in online marketplaces To ensure the security of products and services, especially by increasing efforts to check randomly when illegal content reappears;
  • Increase platform transparency and accountability, By disseminating clear information about the use of content moderation or recommendation algorithms (also called content recommendation systems); Users will be able to challenge content control decisions; And
  • Prohibition of misleading practices and certain types of targeted advertising, Especially those intended for children or for the presentation of sensitive content. “Fraudulent interfaces” and fraudulent practices aimed at influencing user preferences will also be prohibited.

Very large online platforms and search engines (with over 45 million monthly users), which pose the greatest risk, must comply with the strict obligations imposed by the Commission. These are specifically included Prevent systemic risks (Such as the promotion of illegal content as well as detrimental effects on fundamental rights, the electoral process, gender-based violence, and mental health). Of Independent audit Can also be carried. In addition, the platforms will have to give users a choice on whether to accept recommendations based on their profiling. They should enable authorities and authorized researchersEasy access to their data and algorithms.

A list of obligations and restrictions for the access controller

The DMA sets obligations for large online platforms that act as gatekeepers in the digital market to ensure a fair environment and more services for customers (who can rarely avoid these large platforms due to their dominant position online).

To prevent any unfair commercial practices, these access controllers must:

  • Allow third parties to communicate with their own services, Smaller platforms will therefore be able to allow larger messaging services to exchange messages with their users and send voice messages or files across all messaging applications. Users will benefit from more choices and avoid lock-in effects that force them to use only one application or platform at a time; And
  • Allows user organizations to access generated data On the doorman’s platform so they can deliver their own offers and make deals with customers outside of this platform.

The access controller will no longer be able to:

  • Improves the ranking of their own services or products At the expense of third parties on their platform (self-bias);
  • Prevents users from easily uninstalling pre-installed software or applications Or use a third-party app or app store; And
  • Process users’ personal data for targeted advertising purposesUnless they explicitly consent.


Fine

To ensure that the new DMA rules are properly implemented and adapted to the dynamic digital sector, the Commission may investigate the market. If an access controller does not comply with these rules, the commission may impose a fine of up to 10% of its total global turnover for the previous fiscal year, or a fine of up to 20% for repeated violations.

Quotes

Crystal Sheldemoz (S&D, DK), a DSA reporter, says: “For a long time, technology giants have benefited from the absence of rules. The digital world has become a wild west where the strongest and biggest rules set. Now there is a sheriff in town: DSA. From now on rules and rights will be strengthened. We open the black box of the algorithm to check the slots on the back of the social platform. “

Andreas Schwab (EPP, DE), a DMA reporter, said: “The goal of the digital single market is to welcome the best companies in Europe, not just the big ones. That is why we have to look at the implementation of this law. We need to be well-supervised to ensure that the regulatory dialogue works. Only when we engage in dialogue on an equal footing can we get the respect the EU deserves; And we owe it to our citizens and our business. “

The next step

When the texts are officially adopted by the Council in July (DMA) and September (DSA), they will be published in the Official Gazette of the EU and will take effect 20 days after their publication.

The DSA will be applicable directly across the EU for 15 months from the date of enactment or from 1 January 2024 (whichever is later). For very large platforms and search engines, the obligations set by this law must be applied for in advance, four months prior to the date the commission nominated them.

The DMA will apply six months after it takes effect. Once categorized, doormen will have a maximum of six months to comply with the new obligation.

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