Global Regulator: ‚Digital Services Act‘ to Set More EU Standards Worldwide

Written by | Thursday, October 15th, 2020
@Eubulletin

Under the Digital Services Act (DSA), a key policy of President Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission plans to draw up extensive rules to govern what tech companies can and cannot do. Due to be formally unveiled in December, the DSA will contain a range of legislative tools to prohibit what it sees as anti-competitive behaviour and oblige companies to do more to protect their users against illegal content and activities. For over a decade, online platforms have been imposing their own rules for illegal content that is distributed on their networks. It is argued this has resulted in hateful and other problematic content to spread, and at the same time in an over-removal of legal content online.
Ahead of its keenly-awaited launch, the Greens in the European Parliament have set out their position on the legislation. Speaking at an online news conference on Tuesday (13 October), MEP Alexandra Geese said the planned legislation is a chance to “rediscover the real potential of the Internet.” As the Green Group’s shadow in the Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), Geese noted that “all sorts of rules will be put in place for the big tech companies which currently dominate the market and this is what we all want. … We welcome the basic points of the DSA but it must also tackle harmful content on the net.“ The German MEP also added that “we want to go back to an internet that is safe and free and one where people don’t have to give up personal data. Media outlets are losing huge amounts of revenue to tech giants who they cannot compete with.”
Another MEP from Greens/EFA, Patrick Breyer, said that “we live in an age of surveillance and the internet is mobilised by private gated communities who record our every action and use the information to build profiles on users.” The member of the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) also warned that “this includes information on their sexual lives which even friends and partners may be unaware of. This information is then offered for sale to advertisers. We want to end this kind of abuse.” Breyer also cited the example of the Cambridge Analytica data leak whereby millions of Facebook users’ personal data was harvested without consent by Cambridge Analytica, predominantly to be used for political advertising. “The Cambridge Analytica scandal was only possible because this surveillance is taking place. Surveillance and censorship are the core issues for me. These need to be addressed properly because they are problems we are currently experiencing.”

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