“Today’s agreement, which complements last month’s political agreement on the Digital Markets Law, sends a strong signal: to all Europeans, to all EU companies and to our international counterparts,” said the Commission President. European, Ursula von der Leyen.
The bill marks a potential turning point in technology regulation. It gives officials more tools to weed out hate speech, go after e-commerce sellers promoting illegal products, and examine tech platform recommendation algorithms, among other things. It applies not only to social networking sites, but also to app stores, sharing economy platforms, and even cloud services and internet providers.
The sweeping legislation also provides additional requirements for what it calls “very large online platforms” with at least 45 million EU users. For these companies, the law would require content moderation risk assessments and independent audits linked to their handling of illegal material, as well as content that may be legal but still threatens public health, human rights or other public interest priorities.
Along with the Digital Markets Act, a competition-focused bill aimed at making dominant online platforms more open, the DSA highlights how Europe has moved decisively to craft proactive regulations for Big Tech, outpacing the US lawmakers who have moved comparatively slowly.
Saturday’s deal reflects hours of negotiations this week between the European Commission, EU member states and the European Parliament to harmonize different versions of the legislation. While the agreement drawn up on Saturday still needs to be enshrined in final language and formally adopted, it could take effect in a few months.
With Europe poised to become a pioneer in the space, advocates of more tech regulation have suggested that EU rules could benefit consumers around the world, either as tech companies adjust their operations to global level for the sake of simplicity or as legislators take inspiration from European regulations. policies
The DSA could serve as a “global gold standard” for other lawmakers to follow, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told European lawmakers last year. On Thursday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton endorsed the DSA and called on European officials to finalize the bill quickly, suggesting it could “strengthen global democracy.”
Meanwhile, the tech industry has actively lobbied for the move, in some cases warning of the risks prescriptive requirements could pose to innovation.
The agreement on the DSA comes Saturday after former President Barack Obama called on tech platforms to step up the fight against disinformation on their platforms, criticizing the companies’ opaque algorithms and what he described as financial incentives that encourage the recommendation of extreme or inflammatory content on the platforms.