The European Union announced that the Parliament and member states have agreed on a new set of laws called the Digital Services Act, or DSA. Once passed, the big tech companies like Google and Meta would be forced to reveal how their algorithms work, change their approaches to targeted advertising, etc. The EU will have a final vote on the DSA once the language is finalised, with the law taking place either 15 months after the vote or at the start of 2024, whichever comes later.
New obligations include removing illegal content and goods more quickly; explaining to users and researchers how their algorithms work; taking stricter action on the spread of misinformation.
Upon any violation, the companies will face fines of up to six per cent of their annual turnover for non-compliance. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the DSA would upgrade the ground rules for all online services. It will give practical effect to the principle that what is illegal offline should be illegal online. The greater the size, the greater the responsibilities of online platforms. “Today’s agreement on the Digital Services Act is historic, both in terms of speed and of substance. The DSA will upgrade the ground-rules for all online services in the EU. It will ensure that the online environment remains a safe space, safeguarding freedom of expression and opportunities for digital businesses,” she said.
While the DSA is a European law, big tech companies might be inclined to adopt the rules worldwide to save time and energy on creating different rule sets for different regions.