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‘Increased transparency’ — European Parliament adopts new rules for online platforms

‘Increased transparency’ — European Parliament adopts new rules for online platforms
July 05
18:54 2022

The European Parliament has adopted the Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA) as part of efforts to ensure improved accountability for online platforms.

The European Parliament is the body responsible for making laws for the European Union (EU).

According to a statement, the new rules were adopted on Tuesday following a landslide vote of 588 in favour, 11 against and 31 abstentions for the DMA, while the DSA attracted 539 votes in favour, 54 votes against, and 30 abstentions.

The DMA and DSA are expected to be formally adopted by the EU council in July and September, respectively.

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The new obligations listed in the DSA include provisions to tackle fake news, and ensuring online platforms are more accountable.

“New measures to counter illegal content online and obligations for platforms to react quickly, while respecting fundamental rights, including the freedom of expression and data protection,” the statement reads.

“Strengthened traceability and checks on traders in online marketplaces to ensure products and services are safe; including efforts to perform random checks on whether illegal content resurfaces;

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“Increased transparency and accountability of platforms, for example by providing clear information on content moderation or the use of algorithms for recommending content (so-called recommender systems); users will be able to challenge content moderation decisions;

“Bans on misleading practices and certain types of targeted advertising, such as those targeting children and ads based on sensitive data. The so-called “dark patterns” and misleading practices aimed at manipulating users’ choices will also be prohibited.”

For the DMA, the focus will be on online platforms ensuring a fairer environment for businesses.

“Allow third parties to inter-operate with their own services, meaning that smaller platforms will be able to request that dominant messaging platforms enable their users to exchange messages, send voice messages or files across messaging apps. This will give users greater choice and avoid the so-called “lock-in” effect where they are restricted to one app or platform,” the statement reads.

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“Allow business users to access the data they generate in the gatekeeper’s platform, to promote their own offers and conclude contracts with their customers outside the gatekeeper’s platforms.”

Online platforms acting as “gatekeepers” will now be restricted from ranking their own services or products “more favourably (self-preferencing) than other third parties on their platforms”, preventing prevent users from “easily un-installing any pre-loaded software or apps, or using third-party applications and app stores”, and processing users’ personal data for targeted advertising “unless consent is explicitly granted”.

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