Big Tech companies like Google and Facebook will soon be required to immediately remove illegal content in the Eurozone.
European Union legislators on Saturday passed a new landmark law requiring digital firms like Google and Meta to remove unlawful information and content from their services.
After hours of discussion, Eurozone MPs established a broad, preliminary political consensus on the Digital Services Act.
The EU in a statement said that its Parliament and member states agreed to a broad new set of laws collectively called the Digital Services Act, or DSA. Once passed, big tech companies like Google and Meta would be forced to reveal how their algorithms work, change their approaches to targeted advertising, and more.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said:
“Today’s agreement on the Digital Services Act is historic, both in terms of speed and of substance. The DSA will upgrade the ground rules for all online services in the EU. It will ensure that the online environment remains a safe space, safeguarding freedom of expression and opportunities for digital businesses. 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. Today’s agreement – complementing the political agreement on the Digital Markets Act last month – sends a strong signal: to all Europeans, to all EU businesses, and to our international counterparts.”
The EU ministers will have a final vote on the DSA once the language is finalized, with the law taking place either 15 months after the vote or at the start of 2024, whichever comes later.
“With the DSA we help create a safe and accountable online environment. Platforms should be transparent about their content moderation decisions, prevent dangerous disinformation from going viral, and avoid unsafe products being offered on marketplaces. With today’s agreement, we ensure that platforms are held accountable for the risks their services can pose to society and citizens.” Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager added.
The DSA also includes an entire Eurozone due diligence requirements that will apply to all digital services that link consumers to goods, services, or content, as well as new processes for quick removal of unlawful content and complete protection for users’ basic rights online.
The Digital Services Act, which is one-half of a two-part revision of the EU’s digital rules, aims to solidify the Eurozone’s position as a worldwide leader in attempts to limit the dominance of social media corporations and other digital platforms.
“With the DSA, the time of big online platforms behaving like they are ‘too big to care’ is coming to an end,” EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said.
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