Connect with us

Tech

EU demands Meta & Google to explain their algorithms under new legislation

The new legislation by the EU only applies to its people, however, the impact of these regulations will undoubtedly be seen in other areas of the world as well

Published

on

EU demands Meta & Google to explain their algorithms under new legislation

Under significant new legislation by the EU enacted early Saturday, big digital firms like Google and Facebook parent Meta will have to regulate their platforms more severely in order to better safeguard European users from hate speech, misinformation, and other harmful online content.

After protracted final discussions that began on Friday, European Union officials reached an agreement in principle on the Digital Services Act, or DSA. The rule would also require internet firms to make it simpler for users to report concerns and prohibit online marketing directed at children. Moreover, the new rule will empower regulators to levy billions of dollars in fines against any company that is non-compliant with the new laws.

The Digital Services Act, one part of a digital rules revamp for the EU’s 27-nation bloc, serves to solidify Europe’s status as the worldwide leader in attempts to limit the dominance of social media corporations and other digital platforms.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a statement, said, “The DSA will upgrade the ground-rules for all online services in the EU. It gives 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.”

In addition, Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s Competition Commissioner who has pioneered most of the EU’s internet legislation, stated that the act will “ensure that platforms are held accountable for the risks their services can pose to society and citizens.”

Even though, the fact that the new legislation by the EU only applies to its people, the impact of these regulations will undoubtedly be seen in other areas of the world as well. While the US lawmakers are eager to rein in Big Tech with their own restrictions, they have already begun to look to the EU’s policies for guidance.

The final text of the Digital Services Act (DSA) is yet to be revealed, however, the European Parliament and the European Commission have outlined a number of obligations it will include in the Act.

Few of the outlined obligations under the new legislation by the EU are pointed out as under:

  • Targeted advertising based on a person’s religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity is prohibited. Targeted advertising is also not permitted for minors.
  • “Dark patterns” – user interfaces that are misleading or deceptive in order to guide users into making specific choices, would be barred.
  • Large online platforms, such as Facebook, will have to make the operation of their recommender algorithms (such as those used for categorising material in the News Feed or recommending TV shows on Netflix) clear to consumers.
  • Hosting services and internet platforms would be required to explain why they deleted unlawful content and provide users with the chance to challenge such removals. However, the DSA does not define what content is unlawful and instead leaves this up to individual nations.
  • Large platforms will also need to develop new techniques for dealing with disinformation during times of crisis.

The DSA will differentiate between various sizes of IT businesses, with larger organisations facing greater obligations. The larger companies, such as Meta and Google (which have at least 45 million users in the EU), will be scrutinised the hardest. 

Although the EU member states have already agreed on the general outlines of the DSA, the legislative text must still be finished and the act legally approved into law. However, at this time, this final step is seen as a formality. The rules will take effect 15 months after the measure is signed into law, or on January 1, 2024, whichever comes first.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.