Sunday, 24 April 2022 05:51

European Union agrees on laws to crack down on digital companies Featured

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European Union agrees on laws to crack down on digital companies Image by Erich Westendarp from Pixabay

The European Parliament has reached a political agreement that will provide a transparent and safe online environment for its 27 member nations.

In a statement, the 705-member body, one of three legislative bodies of the European Union, outlined the benefits of the agreement which is known as the Digital Services Act:

  • Access to platforms’ algorithms is now possible;
  • Online platforms will have to remove illegal products, services or content swiftly after they have been reported;
  • Protection of minors online will be reinforced; additional bans will be imposed on targeted advertising for minors as well as targeting based on sensitive data; and
  • Users will be better informed how content is recommended to them.

“The Digital Services Act will set new global standards. Citizens will have better control over how their data is used by online platforms and big tech-companies. We have finally made sure that what is illegal offline is also illegal online, said Denmark's Christel Schaldemose, a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the Parliament.

"For the European Parliament, additional obligations on algorithmic transparency and disinformation are important achievements,” she added. “These new rules also guarantee more choice for users and new obligations for platforms on targeted ads, including bans to target minors and restricting data harvesting for profiling.”

The text of the DSA has to be finalised at a technical level and verified by lawyer-linguists, before both the Parliament and the European Council formally approves it.

After this, it will come into force 20 days after publication in the EU Official Journal. The rules can be applied 15 months later.

The EU put in place regulation known as the Digital Markets Act in March, under which big online platforms can be fined up to 10% of their global turnover if they do not comply with the Act which limits market power.

The DMA will allow fines of up to 20% of global turnover for repeated infringements.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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