Web giants will submit user data when EU law comes into force, Telecom News, ET Telecom

Brussels: A new European law imposing stricter online regulations comes into force on Wednesday and the biggest platforms like Facebook and Google will have until February 17 to reveal their user numbers.

The Digital Services Act (DSA) rules will be fully enforced 12 months later from February 17, 2024, but officials will need time next year to decide which tech giants are big enough to need close scrutiny.

The DSA was designed to tackle hate speech, misinformation and online piracy, in Europe at a time when most the Internet content viewed by EU citizens is controlled by US-based companies.

Under the new law, all social media platforms, online marketplaces and search engines will be forced to react more quickly to remove content deemed to violate EU regulations.

This will include measures to limit the use of sensitive private data in targeting ads to European users and insist on more transparency for the algorithms that suggest content.

But the new rules will come into force earlier for what Brussels calls the very large online platforms (VLOP) and the very large online search engines (VLOSE) – those with more than 45 million active users in the world. EU.

At the number of current users, this definition would affect about 20 companies, including Meta and its social networks Facebook and Instagram; Google and its YouTube video platform; and platforms from iPhone maker Apple.

The micro-blogging platform Twitter, recently acquired by an entrepreneur Elon Muskwill almost certainly also be included, along with Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok, German retailer Zalando and Dutch hotel site Booking.

Any site that might be big enough to make the cut must publish its European user numbers by February 17, 2023 and the DSA regulations will come into effect once the European Commission confirmed their size.

This implies that, for the giants, the DSA’s rules – stricter for large platforms – could come into force at the end of 2023 rather than February 2024, when they will apply to everyone.

VLOPs could face fines of up to 6% of their global revenue or even banishment from the huge EU market for serious and persistent breaches of the rules.

The DSA complements another new EU law, the Digital Markets Act or DMA, which prohibits anti-competitive behavior by so-called “gatekeepers” of the internet and came into force in November.

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