EU To Big Tech: Police Content Or Pay Massive Fines

Big Tech

The regulatory pressure on Big Tech continues, with the European Union mulling massive fines in a bid to force Facebook, Amazon and other tech giants to do a better job of policing online ads and content.

“Very large” tech companies like Amazon and Facebook could face fines of up to 6 percent of their revenue if they fail to do a better job of monitoring content, and, in particular, ensuring greater transparency around online advertising, according to a draft of the new policy reviewed by the Financial Times.

Under the regulations, the major tech companies will be in charge of vetting the credentials of vendors and other third-party suppliers who sell their products on Amazon, the news outlet reported.

In addition, Big Tech will also have to show regulators and researchers data detailing how they deal with illegal content, the paper notes.

To meet the demands of the proposed Digital Services Act regulations, large platforms, many of them U.S.-based, would have to hire or appoint at least one compliance officer, if not more.

“Very large platforms now have a systemic role in amplifying and shaping information flows online and for the largest part of EU citizens,” according to the copy of the draft regulation reviewed by the FT.

The new rules would require a higher-level of transparency for online advertising, with large platforms — defined as those with more than 45 million users — required to ensure users know the content they are viewing is an ad “in a clear and unambiguous manner and in real time,” according to the proposed EU rules.

The new regulations also require platforms to ensure consumers are told who is behind the ad they are seeing, and to also be given “meaningful information about the main parameters used to determine” why they were targeted by the ad.

The rules being weighed by the EU mark the first overhaul in the trading bloc’s internet regulations in two decades.