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How the EU Digital Services Act Affects Big Tech

 |  August 27, 2023

On August 25th, 2023 the European Union’s Digital Services Act went into effect, with tech giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and more required to comply with the sweeping legislation that held online platforms legally accountable for the content posted to them.

Under the new rules, online platforms must implement ways to prevent and remove posts containing illegal goods, services, or content while simultaneously giving users the means to report this type of content.

According to the Verge, this includes banning targeted advertising based on a person’s sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, or political beliefs, as well as restrictions on targeting ads to children. Platforms must also provide more transparency on how their algorithms work.

The European Union designated several companies as what it considered ‘very large online platforms’, forcing them to give users the right to opt out of recommendation systems and profiling, share key data with researchers and authorities, cooperate with crisis response requirements, and perform external and independent auditing. The Commission defines a very large online platform as those with over 45 million monthly users in the EU. Such companies must update their user numbers at least every six months and could face fines of up to 6 percent of their global turnover for not complying.

In response to the new regulation, Google has already outlined the ways in which it’s going to comply with the DSA. The company conglomerate says that it already complies with some of the policies envisioned by the DSA, including the ability to give YouTube creators the right to appeal video removals and restrictions while simultaneously expanding its Ads Transparency Center to meet the requirements outlined by the legislation.

Related: US Tech Giants Accept European Union’s ‘Gatekeeper’ Classification

Meta, the parent company of social media websites Facebook and Instagram, is also working hard to comply with the legislation, expanding its Ad Library which compiles the ads shown on its platforms.

Similarly, TikTok has announced that it’s making its algorithm optional for users in the EU while Snapchat will give its users the ability to opt out of personalized feeds on its Discover and Spotlight pages and also published reports on how it ranks the posts on these feeds.

Lastly, Amazon filed a petition that asked the EU to reevaluate its classification as a very large online platform, claiming that it’s getting ‘unfairly singled out.’ The same can be said of German retailer Zalando who filed a lawsuit against the EU Commission and argued that it doesn’t meet the definition of a very large online platform.

The DSA has officially gone into effect, and already many “very large online platforms” have released ways in which they are going to meet the new guidelines. As data breaches continue to be a worrying issue for many, the European Commission has implemented the DSA in an effort to give its user base more control over online platforms.

Source: The Verge