EU approves DSA law to force tech platforms to control content

The European Parliament approved the Digital Services Act (DSA), a piece of legislation that sets new rules on how internet companies must protect European users from online misinformation and illegal content, goods and services.

Under the DSA, the practice of targeting online users based on their religion, gender or sexual preferences will be prohibited, as will so-called dark patterns, deceptive web design aimed at encouraging people click on online content against their will.

Major online platforms will also be forced to disclose the steps they take to counter disinformation or propaganda, while victims of cyberviolence and non-consensual sharing of illegal content will be better protected with immediate takedowns.

Children will also be subject to new safeguards, meaning platforms must ensure high levels of privacy and security for minors and prevent them from being targeted by online advertising.

Companies that fail to comply will be subject to fines of up to 6% of global revenue.

The legislation was passed on Saturday April 23, after a 16-hour marathon of negotiations, and comes just a month after the EU passed the Digital Markets Act (DMA), which aims to curb the power of big business technologies by forcing them to change how they integrate digital services and manage customer data.

“The DSA will update the ground rules for all online services in the EU. It will ensure that the online environment remains a safe space, preserving freedom of expression and opportunities for digital businesses. This gives practical effect to the principle that what is illegal offline should be illegal online,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement. statement.

EU lawmakers target big tech

DMA and DSA won’t be the only pieces of new legislation tech companies will have to contend with this year. Earlier this year, the UK government added new requirements to its online security bill hold social media platforms and search engines accountable for scams or fraudulent advertisements that appear on their sites.

For companies that breach these rules, UK communications regulator Ofcom will have the power to block their services in the UK or impose fines of up to £18 million ($23.7 million), or 10% of annual turnover.

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