At the end of last year, the European Commission presented a draft version of the Digital Services Act (DSA). The European Parliament has been working on the bill over the past year. According to Bits of Freedom, the new version is a step in the right direction to regulate online platforms, but not yet ambitious enough.
New version of the DSA bill ‘a lot better’ than the original
The Digital Services Act (DSA) is a law that aims to better protect European internet users against large technology companies such as Google and Meta. National regulators have been complaining for years about privacy violations of children by online platforms such as TikTok, the use of facial recognition technology by Facebook, and the dangers of the advertising systems of Google and Meta.
To form a fist against the power of international tech companies, the European Commission devised the DSA. At the end of last year, the executive board of the EU unveiled the draft version of the bill. The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO), an important committee within the European Parliament, has studied the proposal and put various additions on paper.
Bits of Freedom acknowledges that the bill is “a lot better” than the original version, but that there is still room for improvement. Nevertheless, the interest group is pleased with the progress made in the past year. There are all kinds of things in it that curb the power of tech companies.
More openness about recommendation systems
For example, the DSA states that online platforms must offer a follow-me-not option. Companies are then no longer allowed to create and maintain user profiles. While this does not end the provision of personalized advertisements, it does give users the opportunity to say ‘no’ to online profiling. There is a general ban on targeted advertisements for children.
The DSA also obliges tech companies to be open and transparent about the management of their recommendation systems. For example, if you watch a video on YouTube , you will be offered various videos based on your interests. To this end, the video platform collects mountains of information from viewers.
In the current bill, visitors should be given the