The text will serve as the basis for negotiations with the EU Member States on the Digital Services Act (DSA)

The text will serve as the basis for negotiations with the EU Member States on the Digital Services Act (DSA)

The text will serve as the basis for negotiations with the EU Member States on the Digital Services Act (DSA)

European Parliament.

The European Parliament approved this Thursday by a large majority its proposal for the Digital Services Act (DSA), a text you are looking for regulate the operation of digital platforms and that is part of the ambitious legal reform with which the EU wants to curb the enormous market power accumulated by US tech giants like Facebook, Amazon or Google.

The text, which has been approved by 530 votes in favour, 78 against and 80 abstentions, contains a set of measures aimed at curb illegal content, hold platforms accountable for their algorithms, and improve content moderation.

This Thursday’s vote is not yet the end of the procedure. The approved text constitutes the negotiating position of the European Parliament. The next step will be to enter into negotiations with the Governments of the Twenty-seven, which have already approved their own version, in order to reach a definitive draft of the Digital Services Law, an agreement that is expected to be completed between now and June.

In parallel, the European Parliament still has to define its position on the second pillar of the new “digital constitution” of the EU: the Digital Markets Law (DMA). This second piece, which also has to be approved in June, is aimed at only against the technological giants, considering that they play a role of “gatekeepers“. Its objective is to favor competition, with a list of obligations and prohibitions that will be applied preventively and automatically to platforms such as Facebook or Amazon.

The Digital Services Law approved this Thursday by the European Parliament aims to increase the responsibility of the platforms on the contents and products exchanged by their users, for example counterfeits or scams, illegal content such as child pornography or hate speech, but also disinformation campaigns and fake news.

The standard is based on a basic principle: what is illegal in the physical world must also be illegal in the physical world. on-line. It applies to all platforms, but sets stricter requirements for the larger ones. In case of default, the tech giants face fines that could reach 6% of your total turnover the previous year.

The standard establishes a notice-and-action mechanism for the removal of illegal products, services or content from digital platforms. Digital platforms will be required to act upon receipt of such notifications “without undue delay, taking into account the type of illegal content being reported and the urgency of taking action.”

The changes in the European Parliament

The European Parliament has introduced a series of changes with respect to the original Brussels proposal that was presented in December 2020, and which will be the most problematic issues when negotiating with governments. First of all, parliamentarians want Prohibit personalized advertising directed at minors or vulnerable groups.

For the rest of the users, the platforms will have to be more transparent about the algorithms they use for personalized advertising, including information about how your data will be monetized. Withholding consent should not be more difficult or time-consuming than giving it. In case of refusing to give consent or withdrawing it, the platforms will have to offer other access options, including the possibility of ads without tracking.

The European Parliament also requests that digital platforms be prohibited from deceiving or conditioning users to influence their behavior through “dark patterns“. The new law should facilitatetar that the recipients of digital services and the organizations that represent them can claim damages when the platforms have not respected their due diligence obligations.

The parliamentarians demand more algorithm-based ranking possibilities. In particular, very large platforms will need to provide at least one recommendation system that is not based on profiling.

Finally, for the European Parliament it is a priority to oblige suppliers to respect freedom of expression and the freedom and pluralism of the media in their terms and conditions, as well as to establish the right to use and pay for digital services anonymously.

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