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Has the EU’s Digital Services Act Placed a Target on the Back of Big Tech Companies?

Meta, Apple, Amazon, Google, and more.
Emily Hill
Contributing Writer

The European Union’s (EU) Digital Services Act (DSA) is set to enact significant legal changes for major tech companies, such as Meta’s Facebook and Instagram, Apple’s App Store, and select Google services. These companies must now take steps to prevent the distribution of harmful content, stop specific user-targeting practices, and share internal data with researchers.

The impact of the DSA will reach beyond the EU as tech regulation leaders aim to shape global rules. However, concerns remain about whether these companies have met the expectations. Penalties can amount to 6% of global turnover and can lead to a ban from European operations.

Why it matters: The Digital Services Act establishes guidelines toward holding tech giants responsible for content moderation and user privacy. Given the EU’s prominent role in shaping tech regulations, the implementation of these laws could potentially influence comparable regulations globally. As major tech companies navigate compliance, adapt their business models, and face potential legal disputes, the outcomes will have implications for their global operations and the broader landscape of online content regulation.

  • European Commission held “stress tests” with 19 platforms to assess their ability to address risks under the DSA. Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat participated. The Commission stated that further preparation was necessary following the tests.
  • A nonprofit company, Eko, conducted research that found Facebook approved 8 out of 13 harmful ads, some supporting violence. In response, Meta downplayed the report, emphasizing its small sample size. Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube also face accusations of approving ads that promote violence, but they deny the allegations.
  • While not outright rejecting compliance, Zalando – a German fashion retailer – and Amazon contest their presence on the DSA list. Amazon claims they have bigger competition not placed on the list. Furthermore, Zalando argues its user base falls below the threshold. As these regulations roll out, legal battles like these reveal the complexity of getting large platforms to meet these obligations.

Go Deeper —> Big Tech Braces for EU Digital Services Act Regulations – Reuters

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