European Parliament Passes Important Laws For Online Platforms

According to reports, the European Parliament has okayed landmark laws, which are aimed at improving internet consumer protection and supervision of online platforms.
On Tuesday, the Digital Services Act or DSA was passed with 539 votes in favor, 54 votes against and 30 abstentions. The Digital Markets Act or DMA was adopted with 588 in favor, 11 votes against and 31 abstentions.

The European Union internal market commissioner Thierry Breton, who was a supporter of the regulations, praised the EU legislature on Twitter, hailing the vote as “historic”.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the commission “will be the digital regulator for the biggest platforms”.

The DSA represents the biggest shake-up in EU law in this area in about 20 years and lays out the roles and responsibilities of technology and internet companies.

As per the new laws, companies must moderate their platforms for harmful content like false information about COVID-19 and bring in protocols to block the spread of harmful content during crises like the pandemic. Companies must also increase transparency regarding interactions with users and simplify user agreements.

Furthermore, the DSA bans targeted advertising using sensitive personal data like sexual orientation or political and religious beliefs. Targeted advertising for minors is also banned under the new law.

The DMA will give importance to market distortion risks and targets the biggest digital players, which act like so-called “gatekeepers”, to stop them from misusing their top market position.

In the next phase, after all the EU member states have adopted the legislation, which is regarded as a formality, a 15-month transitional period will begin for the law, after which it will be operational.

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