The Digital Services Act (DSA) is the second prong of EU antitrust Chief Margrethe Vestager’s strategy to rein in Alphabet (GOOGL.O) unit Google, Meta (FB.O) and other U.S tech giants.
This comes after an agreement that large online platforms will have to do more in terms of tackling illegal content.
Failure to which they risk hefty fines under the new internet rules agreed between European Union countries and EU lawmakers on Saturday.
Having won a backing from 27-country bloc as well as lawmakers about landmark rules called Digital Markets Act (DMA) that can enforce Google, Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft into changing their core business practices in Europe.
Vestager said in a tweet that having a deal with DSA, the Digital Services Act will ensure that what’s illegal offline is also seen and dealt with as illegal online instead of a slogan this will be a reality.
The initiative gaining support from EU lawmaker Dita Charanzova who had urged for the need of such rules eight years earlier on saying that Google, Meta and other large online platforms will have to act better protect their users.
Adding that Europe has made it clear that they cannot act as independent digital islands.
Under the DSA, the companies face fines up to 6% of their global turnover for violating the rules while repeated breaches could see them banned from doing business in the EU.
Google said in a statement that as the law is finalized and implemented, the details do matter. Hence they are looking forward to working with the policy makers in achieving the remaining technical details right to ensuring the law works for everyone.
The numerous diverse online platforms and online search engines will be required to take specific measures during a crisis. The move having been triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the related disinformation.
This new rules ban aim at advertising pointed at children or with the basis of sensitive data such as religion, gender, race and political opinions.
Since it’s with these dark patterns, which are tactics that mislead people into giving personal data to companies online, will also be prohibited.
The companies now face a yearly fee up to 0.05% of worldwide annual revenue to cover the costs of monitoring their compliance.
As the DSA is to be enforced in 2024, the companies might be forced to handing over data related to their algorithms to regulators and researchers.