Home LATEST NEWS The European Union completes a historic reform against the digital jungle

The European Union completes a historic reform against the digital jungle

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The text, discussed for almost a year and a half, must make the very large digital platforms, such as Facebook (Meta) or Amazon, responsible, by forcing them to remove illegal content and to cooperate with the authorities.

This agreement is historicwelcomed the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on Twitter; our new rules will protect users online, ensure freedom of expression and opportunities for business.

The Digital Services Regulation (Digital Services Act“,”text”:”Digital Services Act”}}’>Digital Services ActDSA) is one of the two parts of a major plan presented in December 2020 by the Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, and her counterpart in the Internal Market, Thierry Breton.

The first part, the regulation on digital markets (Digital Markets Act“,”text”:”Digital Markets Act”}}’>Digital Markets ActDMA), which tackles anti-competitive practices, was concluded at the end of March.

the Digital Services Act, he updates the directive on electronic commerce, born 20 years ago when the giant platforms were still embryonic. Objective: to put an end to areas of lawlessness and abuse on the Internet.

The excesses of social networks have often hit the headlines. Assassination of history professor Samuel Paty in France, after a hate campaign in October 2020; assault of protesters against the Capitol in the United States in January 2021, partly planned thanks to Facebook and Twitter…

Remove promptly any illegal content

The dark side of the Internet also concerns sales platforms overrun with counterfeit or defective products that can be dangerous, such as children’s toys that do not meet safety standards.

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The new regulation stipulates the obligation to withdraw promptly any illegal content (according to national and European laws) as soon as a platform becomes aware of it. It forces social networks to suspend users violating frequently the law.

the Digital Services Act will force online sales sites to verify the identity of their suppliers before offering their products.

It also prohibits misleading interfaces (dark pattern) that push Internet users towards certain account settings or certain paid services.

GAFAM, Twitter…

At the heart of the project, new obligations imposed on very large platformsthose countingmillion active users”,”text”:”more than 45million active users”}}”>more than 45 million active users in the EU, i.e. around twenty companies, the list of which remains to be determined but which will include GAFAM (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft), as well as Twitter, and perhaps TikTok or Booking.

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

They 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 their annual sales in the event of repeated infringements.

the Digital Services Act in particular prohibits the use of data on political opinions for advertising targeting purposes.

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This text is a world first in terms of digital regulation, underlined in a press release the Council of the EU, which represents the 27 Member States of the Union. He enshrines the principle that what is illegal offline must also be illegal online.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had asked the EU on Thursday evening to adopt this new legislation to support global democracy before it’s too late.

For too long, tech platforms have amplified misinformation and extremism without accountability. »

A quote from Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State

History in progress! For the first time, the public will be able to ask independent questions about the operation platforms, rejoiced the American whistleblower Frances Haugen, who had denounced the passivity of Facebook in the face of the nuisances of its social networks.

A reference for other countries

Come on USA, now it’s our turnshe added, considering that the Digital Services Act could become a benchmark for other countries.

In the context of the war in Ukraine, lawmakers added crisis response mechanism to take action proportionate and efficient against very large platforms that would contribute to disinformation campaigns, said the European Council.

For its part, the lobby of the big digital companies CCIA estimated on Saturday thata number of important details had to be clarifiedin order to the final legislation allows all businesses, large and small, to comply with the rules in practice.

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