EU Reshapes The Internet As New Law Minimizes Content Algorithms And Target-Based Advertising

The verdict is out, the European Union has finally adopted the Digital Services Act and that means we could soon be seeing some major changes on the internet.

It took a mega 16-hour-long negotiation session to come up to this point and that’s when the news was finalized on Saturday. But what does this mean for the world’s leading tech giants?

Well, the legislation isn’t coming slow, that’s for sure. The DSA (Digital Services Act) is on a mission to make all stakeholders have more accountability by imposing stricter rules, once it comes into law, which is two years from now.

Similar to the much-talked-about Digital Markets Act, this is expected to have some far-reaching impacts that may go beyond Europe.

At the moment, we are yet to see the final text from the DSA due to a delay in its release by the European Commission but one thing is for sure, some provisions outlined are worth a glance.

Out of those unveiled on Saturday, there was a ban imposed on targeted advertisements that took a person’s sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity into consideration. Similarly, minorities were banned as target audiences for such ads too.

Another major part of the law that had many people raising their eyebrows was related to recommendation algorithms. Now, tech giants like Meta must reveal greater transparency relating to the workflow of its systems.

To put it simply, Facebook must reveal how it functions when displaying content online for viewers. With that comes the obligation of social media giants to display alternative systems such as feeds with chronological orders.

And if that was not enough, they’ll also need to make important data available to various NGOs or researchers. This will assist in data collection to gain more knowledge about the online risks and how they change with time.

The President of the European Commission says the agreement passed today is a historic moment, especially in terms of substance. He highlighted how the act is designed to ensure a safe online environment where people and their rights remain protected. Similarly, he felt it was a great opportunity for the growth of digital businesses.

Another striking clause in the Digital Services Act is how the EU reserves the right to fine major tech firms a whopping 6% of turnover for any violations of its rules. Moreover, any repeat of the violations will result in a complete ban.

To put things more into perspective, that’s the equivalent of $7 billion for firms like Meta.

The DSA distinguished between companies based on their size and that means those with larger platforms with about 45 million subscribers in the European Union will be dealt with harshly. As you can imagine, both Facebook and Google fall in that category as do Apple and Amazon.

Last year, all of these leading tech firms united to lobby against the policymakers in the EU, spending a whopping 27 million Euros. They hoped to alter the clauses of both the DMA and DSA.

These new laws are being looked upon as inspiration for other countries like the US which is looking to revamp its antitrust laws.

Read next: Here’s How Much Your Stolen Credit Card Details Might Be Sold For on the Dark Web
Previous Post Next Post