Europe imposes strict rules on big techs – 04/22/2022 – Market

The European Union will require big tech companies to control online content more strictly, at the risk of facing billions in fines. The bloc has agreed to pass legislation that for the first time sets out rules on how companies must keep users safe on the internet.

In the early hours of Saturday (23), Friday night (22) in Brasília time, after almost 16 hours of negotiations, lawmakers in Brussels endorsed measures that prohibit the targeting of online advertising to minors in companies such as Facebook and Google.

Manipulation techniques that force users to click on content will also be prohibited. Major tech groups will be forced to disclose to EU regulators how they are handling false information — a goal that has gained new momentum since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Digital Services Act (LSD), closed in Brussels between EU member states, the European Commission (the bloc’s executive arm) and the European Parliament, is part of a broader effort to lead the way on how the internet should be regulated.

Earlier this year, the EU passed another piece of legislation, the Digital Markets Act, which seeks to combat the market power of big tech.

The set of legislative measures to regulate the world’s largest technology companies, which have taken a stand against the bill, represents the most significant revision of the laws that govern their operations in more than two decades.

Countries like the US, Canada and Singapore are expected to follow Brussels’ example, introducing similar rules in the coming months.

The measures come after years of frustration with antitrust enforcement, considered slow or ineffective.

“The days of big online platforms behaving like they’re ‘too big to care’ are coming to an end,” said Thierry Breton, domestic market commissioner.

The law aims to make the internet safer for consumers. Internet companies will have to offer terms and conditions that are understandable even for children. Targeting online users based on their religion, gender or sexual preferences will be among the practices to be prohibited.

Platforms like Twitter will have to be transparent in the way they recommend content to their users.

Those who break the rules will face hefty fines and bans from operating in the 27 EU countries.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s executive vice president responsible for digital policy, said the new set of rules “will help create a safe and responsible online environment”.

“Platforms must be transparent about their content moderation decisions, prevent dangerous misinformation from going viral, and prevent unsafe products from being offered in marketplaces. With today’s agreement, we ensure that platforms are held accountable for the risks their services may pose. represent for society and citizens.”

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