EU Digital Services Act will regulate harmful content

EU officials have reached agreement on landmark legislation to control illegal and harmful content online, which will also impose transparency requirements on content recommendation algorithms and limit the targeting of ads to minors.

The long-awaited Digital Services Act proposal aims for its toughest rules against illegal content and goods on Big Tech platforms like Meta, Google and Amazon, but the measure will also impose requirements on internet service providers, to cloud hosting, app stores, domain name registrars and smaller ones. social media and e-commerce companies.

The DSA deal, which still requires the near-inevitable approval of the bloc’s authorities, comes just a month after a final agreement on the Digital Markets Act, which would fundamentally overhaul the business practices of the biggest tech companies. The EU is also preparing to tackle artificial intelligence in the months and years to come.

Together, they represent a broad European effort to regulate tech commerce, from distribution to consumer experiences, often targeting powerful US companies and setting a regulatory milestone that will affect businesses around the world. These big tech giants, most of them American, can face “sanctions of up to 6% of global turnover, or even a ban on operating in the EU single market in the event of a ‘repeated serious infringements’, according to a summary by the European Commission. The full text of the legislation was not immediately available.

In addition to algorithmic transparency for content and product promotion and a ban on targeting children with ads, the DSA would also impose “limits on the use of sensitive personal data for targeted advertising,” including gender, race and religion. It would also require companies to put systems in place to flag illegal goods and content and for faster removal.

“This gives practical effect to the principle that what is illegal offline must be illegal online,” Ursula von der Leyen, chair of the commission, said in a statement.

In addition to illegal content, the DSA also targets harmful content, such as viral “dangerous misinformation”.

While the DSA stems from serious concern from world leaders about the spread of harm on a digital scale, it has also prompted warnings that efforts to combat these dangers have sometimes led to the shutdown of digital platforms. legal but controversial speeches.


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