The European Parliament today approved the Digital Service Act and Digital Market Act with an overwhelming majority, nearly two years after the Commission’s initial proposal was presented and inter-institutional agreements on the Digital Service Service Package were reached in spring this year. Two pieces of legislation together aim at creating a safer digital space where all users’ fundamental rights are protected; and a space that will serve as a field to foster innovation, growth and competitiveness! The Digital Service Package will go into effect if the same two pieces of legislation are approved by the Council! CONNECT International applauds the progress of these initiatives, which will have a favorable impact on digital access, digital rights, digital citizenship, and digital innovation—all four areas of work in which we work.
These Acts will have multiple benefits for young people and other citizens, even if they are not instantly obvious. They are critical for ensuring meaningful digital transformation and making Europe fit for the digital age. Within six months of the final adoption of these two Acts, the so-called gatekeepers will be required to follow a set of well-defined rules and prohibitions – and these include various service providers, including social media, host providers, and so on. If the rules are repeatedly broken, fines of up to 20% of their global turnover may be imposed.
To ensure that the online environment remains a safe space where fundamental rights, including freedom of expression, are respected, the Digital Service Act will outline a set of principles on what is legal or illegal online. This also means that platforms will have to be more transparent about their content moderation decisions (and, to some extent, algorithms, but additional EU regulation on artificial intelligence is expected by the end of the year or beginning of the next one), contribute to countering disinformation online, and ensure the safety of products offered in digital spaces. This will have a positive impact on ensuring the equal application of digital rights and meaningful digital citizenship. Importantly, the greater the platform’s size, the greater their responsibility.
Additionally, gatekeepers will no longer be able to impose unfair access conditions on their app, which could prevent consumers from installing apps from other sources – where they are more likely to pay less. These types of regulations, including lists of “dos” and “don’ts” – contained within the Digital Market Act – are critical for ensuring digital access and supporting digital innovation.
Overall, these regulations aim to protect online space while also ensuring that EU values are upheld in the digital realm.
More information is available at this link: https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/pt/press-room/20220701IPR34364/digital-services-landmark-rules-adopted-for-a-safer-open-online-environment