On Wednesday, 5 July, the European Parliament voted to adopt the Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act with a broad majority.

The DSA and DMA tackle the effects of the tech industry on society and the economy by setting standards for a safer, more open digital space for users. This milestone legislation will mean platforms will need to step up their work to combat hate speech and fake news online. New rules preventing anti-competitive behaviour will now apply to tech giants such as Meta, Google, Amazon and Apple.

Co-President Martin Schidrewan (Die Linke) who negotiated the legislation for The Left says:

“Traditional competition law as well as business self-regulation have failed in the digital market. EU regulators have looked on dreamily as Facebook, Google and Co. shape the internet to suit their profit interests. The DSA and DMA are a milestone to clean up the internet and fight digital monopolies. The ‘I do what I want’ mentality of online platforms will finally end.

“Huge wins are the ban on unfair confusion tactics, so-called dark patterns, and the commitment to interoperability for messengers. Cross-app communication is a big win for consumers, who no longer need quite a few messaging apps on their phones, and a blow to Mark Zuckerberg, as WhatsApp will lose its monopoly.

For platforms like Facebook, profit is always at the forefront, and even children’s privacy is exploited to achieve this. The bans on personalised advertising to minors and the use of sensitive data limit the dangerous business practices of digital companies. This is a great success for the protection of users, even if a complete ban on personalised advertising would be desirable.”

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